Back Alley Poetry

Montreal 2017

This project was concerned with the city (Montreal) as a vivid and responsive environment, especially focussing on the back alley as a space for social and cultural exchange. Within those narrow side streets, a dialogue between the urban environment and « an anonymous hero » (Michel De Certeau, Walking in the City, in The Practice of Everyday Life. Univ. of California Press, 1984) takes place in the form of murals, tags and graffiti. As part of the public sphere, they are ephemeral and get painted over, crossed out or simply washed away. In addition to those spontaneous manifestations of painted letters, also house numbers, letterings of entrances and advertisements are part of the narrative. This narrative represents a hidden language through which the city speaks for itself.

« Walking thus becomes part of a generative cycle of assimilation and absorbing the world around us, taking (without taking) things in with all of the sustenance this process entails; each of us has our own rhythms, ways of moving and responding to the world around us. »

- Randy Lee Cuttler

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