Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle: La Chorale [While the tree sleeps, the woodcutters sing]


October 19 – November 17, 2012
Opening on Friday October 19 at 5:30pm : Potlach!

A symbol of redistribution of wealth and barter the Potlach is a communal meal where everyone brings something to share. Bring your whole family and come hungry!

Project Description

A copresentation of The HTMlles 10: RISKY BUSINESS. Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle shares the gallery with Koby Rogers Hall and Frédéric Biron Carmel in order to create a variable environment; at once installation, motor for exchange and ground for action.

Installation of an old-fashioned rocking chair, 730 cm long, made of lindenwood, and capable of seating 20 people. The work becomes a multivalent performance that suggests a critical reflection on the brief time usually spent in a gallery through its open invitation to rocking, evoking the solidarity required of a group to set the chair in motion in a synchronized rhythm. Particular details of the environment suggest an at once poetic and wretched experience of the socio-political space that many communities share.


1. More perhaps than any other piece of furniture, the rocking-chair in the Québécois home has acquired a personality closely identified with its owner. In lower income homes, families will keep the rocking-chair in their own bedroom and only take it out on special occasions. For a birth, before the midwife’s arrival, one’s own chair is taken out. Considered the most comfortable seat in the house, the rocking-chair is offered to guests in hopes of prolonging their stay. When someone invites themselves over a little too often, they’re given the worst chair, one that leans, creaks, or wobbles off-balance. The visitor will be less likely to stay over. A young girl in love may choose to seat her paramour in an off-balance rocking-chair that creeps across the floor as it rocks, such as to gradually close the distance between them as the evening progresses. A young girl who rocks while she eats, they say, will not marry and remain an old maid.

Paul-Louis Martin, La berçante québécoise – Histoire populaire du Québec 1, Montreal, Boréal Express, 1973, 173 p.

2. October 16, 2011. Occupy Montreal tents at the foot of the stock exchange, Square Victoria, Montreal, Canada.

photo: Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle


3. March 22, 2012. Major demonstration against the tuition fee hikes, Montreal, Canada.

photo: not credited