A barrel full of monkeys is popping up in Old Market Square… Don’t miss out or you’ll get caught red-handed!
Take a walk, ride or roll through the Exchange where inflatables created by local artist Paul Robles will light up Old Market Square. The curved forms will lead you through a snake-like path and make you wonder, why are monkeys building pyramids in the Exchange? Why are their hands red? Are they ghosts of a pre-pandemic social scene?
See Hear Speak was conceived of during the pandemic and is intended to interrupt the quiet of a once thriving gathering place. It is an oddity calling for attention, conjuring a magnetic contradiction that highlights and denies the human experience of contact, folly, and closeness. The playful shapes are layered with monkeys and meaning to suggest team bonding exercises, sporty cheer(leaders), religious divination, and even fraternity hazing. Echoing society’s current unease, the title invokes the proverb of the Three Wise Monkeys and how the threat of isolation and despair can lead to compulsive diversion.
The temporary inflatables, commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council through Winnipeg’s Public Art Program with support from the Winnipeg Foundation, will be installed September 24 – October 3 in Old Market Square. The 10-day installation compliments Culture Days Manitoba, Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and their month-long Illuminate the Night Programming.
Thanks to TallMan for collaborating creatively with the artist and to True North Sports and Entertainment for the loan of production supplies.
In the media:
- The Uniter, posted October 1, 2021: Reimagining Nuit Blanche
- CTVNewsWinnipeg, posted September 25, 2021: Nuit Blanche back with inflatable display
- Winnipeg Free Press, posted September 23, 2021: Into the night and beyond, Nuit Blanche extends reach as artists light up the city