|“Timelines, Strata and Ephemera” – See further info on this installation below.|
Québec City was born in 1608, and in 2008 it had a big party to mark its 400th. The Ephemeral Gardens were among the events and happenings that unfolded all through the year-long celebration – and which included a free concert by Céline Dion, for 250,000 of her closest friends, on the Plains of Abraham.
The heart does go on, even in summer 2009, down in the Old Port (Vieux-Port) of Québec. Here, you can still catch the innovative Robert LePage/Ex Machina Image Mill (Moulin à Images) show, the story of Québec’s history projected on those silos in the background, the Bunge company’s 600-metre-long (almost 2000-ft.) grain elevators.
More à propos for this blog though, a few of the least-ephemeral Ephemeral Gardens remain: a handful of the original eleven contemporary gardens, about half of which were selected by juried competition and half invited. (To give you a taste of the conceptual innovation that informed these temporary spaces, this link is to the Boustrophedon Garden that exists now only in the ephemera of memory.)
The intent behind the installation at right might have been related to clear cutting… I could be misguided in that notion, but something about clear cutting rattles around my memorybox. In a purely pedestrian sense (pun unintended), doesn’t this make a novel paving material! It even suggests how to apply it to a change in grade.
Behold at left a simple application of negative space. The bed inserted into the grassed area is filled with gray gravel identical to the material used on the larger picnic area. I would have liked to see the mirrored bed planted with ornamental grasses. Perhaps it once was… or with turf. Right now, it’s just a garden waiting to happen.
But good ideas are growing in it, if you look closely.