Winnipeg Arts Council

See Hear Speak

The monkeys are back! Paul Robles wants you to see, hear and speak again... Wander through Stephen Juba Park and wonder, where did these monkeys come from? Why are they building pyramids? Why are their hands red? Do you see a ghost? Does it call to you? The inflatable artwork will be presented in partnership with the Exchange District BIZ for Downtown Culture Days on October 6 & 7, 2022, and we invite you to gather, to engage, and to play!

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:

Paul Robles

Filipino born Winnipeg artist Paul Robles is known for his intricate cut paper works. He combines delicate craft with animist familiars, folklore, ghosts, and grief to explore psychological and emotional states. Recently, Robles has begun to incorporate sculptural elements into his work.

Paul Robles studied fine arts and sociology. He has received numerous grants and awards including University Gold Medals. His work has been the subject of solo/ group exhibitions and Art Fairs in Canada, the United States, and France, and is represented internationally in private and public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Province of Manitoba, and St John's College at the U of M. He designed a bike rack for the Broadway area in 2008. His newest works were part of a group exhibition at the Art Gallery of Regina this summer.


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