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Indepth Arts News:

"Sense of the City"
2005-10-25 until 2006-09-10
Canadian Centre for Architecture
Montreal, QC, CA Canada

This fall, the Canadian Centre for Architecture invites the public to experience the city like never before. In a major exhibition entitled Sense of the City, visitors can explore sensory perception in the urban environment and discover hidden qualities of the city. From 26 October 2005 to 10 September 2006, the CCA presents Sense of the City, a major exhibition dedicated to the theme of urban phenomena and perceptions which have been ignored, repressed, or maligned. Challenging the dominance of the visual in the urban environment, the exhibition proposes a re-thinking of latent qualities of the city, exploring the comforts, communication systems, and sensory dimensions of urban life—thus advancing a new spectrum of experience and engagement.

The most banal and ubiquitous phenomena—asphalt, the second crust of the earth, cacophonies of everyday sounds and smells, competing light effects, manipulations of temperature and climate, the junk and graffiti that disfigure buildings and streets, as well as the subtle, mostly hidden signs of regeneration in the urban environment—will be presented through artefacts and images that collectively suggest the rich array of urban experiences lying just beyond traditional interpretations of the city. Sense of the City explores overlooked modes of perception, offering a complex approach to understanding the urban landscape and proposing a new ‘sensorial’ form of urbanism. Guided tours of the exhibition begin Saturday, 29 October.

A series of six lectures entitled Sensing the City complement the exhibition, proposing new readings of the city and examining the potential for architecture and design in relation to the senses. The great Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer opens the series with The Sounding City on 20 October; cultural historian Constance Classen discusses The Sensuous City: From the Middle Ages to Modernity on 27 October; Mark Sussman, theatre artist and performance scholar, presents Lighting Urban Spectacle: Electric Interventions in Everyday Life on 3 November; Jean-Pierre Lemasson, professor of urban and tourism studies at UQAM describes Le goût de la ville on 17 November; performance art and interdisciplinary practices scholar Jim Drobnick offers Guarded Breaths: Art and Smell in the [cough] Metropolis on 24 November; and a final lecture, to be announced, takes place on 8 December. Sensing the City is presented in collaboration with Concordia University and curated by David Howes, Director, Concordia Sensoria research team.

Amsterdam, 1997-1998
West8, Carrasco Square
© West8/Jeroen Musch

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