This installation piece was created for the project, Counterposes, produced by curators  Display Cult and Oboro Gallery.  Set in a moving freight elevator converted into a recreation room, this non-speaking physical piece examined the dark side of suburbia. In this distorted environment (the back wall is the floor), a couple enacts the banal rituals of modern life amid a soundtrack which included domestic noises, Hawaiian cowboy tunes, fifties muzak, text from the Patty Hearst kidnapping and autopsy reports from the JonBenet Ramsey murder. Their “child” is conspicuously missing and, in the end, the woman disappears as well. With this piece, the company expanded its aesthetic to embrace the medium of visual art and explored a more dynamic actor-spectator relationship.

The audience – over a thousand people, individuals and in groups of twos and threes – viewed the sixteen moving tableaux through a two-foot square window, and the actors were able to stop the elevator at different levels within the window, which enhanced the public’s visual experience. At times, the viewer would have the floor or ceiling at his/her eye level. He/she would see the performers’ feet or would see the performers from the neck down. At other times, he/she could see a fully realized tableau, including performance in the dark with candles. The piece slowly revealed a disintegrating relationship and murder was hinted at the end. However, the viewer only got fragments of the story in the course of the presentation, which he/she later had to piece together through repeated viewings or conversations with other audience members.

You can read our artistic statement in the book, Counterposes: Re-imagining the Tableaux Vivants, by Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick of Display Cult.

Creative team

RECREATION (installation)

Directed by Stacey Christodoulou

With: Stacey Christodoulou, Philippe Ducros

Set Design: Eo Sharp

Sound Design: Darren Copeland

Dates: May 7 to 9, 1998

Venue: Oboro Gallery (4001 Berri, Montréal, corner Duluth)

Schedule: 12pm to 5pm continuously

Tickets: Free Admission


Meillure exposition de groupe, catégorie galeries et centres d'artistes : CounterPoses , à la galerie Oboro. Bien mené, ce blitz de trois jours présentait d'intrigantes variations autour du thème du tableau vivant, dans tout l'edifice du 4001 de la rue Berri. Un des bons coups de l'année, une initiative parfaitement originale.
Bernard Lamarche
Le Devoir, December 31, 1998
Évènements de l'année, TOP 10 ARTS VISUELS: Tableaux Vivants collectif, Galerie Oboro.
Nicolas Mavrikakis
Voir, December 23 - January 6, 1999
A comical tension floats in the air as the room shifts, the floor becoming the walls while I peer downs from what is now the ceiling. I am a suburban voyeur, spying on this revolving mise-en-scène, trying to crack the social codes of these day-to-day absurdities.
Valérie Lamontagne
MIX, Fall, 1998
Recreation evoked the dark underbelly of the apparent suburban tranquility of daily chores, abundant leisure time and a 'nothing ever happens here' banality.
Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick
Etc. Montreal, March - May, 1999
The unsettling configuration of space – an elongated cube of a room, tipped on its side – and the vertigo inducing wood paneling and parquet flooring served as a perfect environment for the ensuing action of the two performer/specimens.
Aaron Pollard
Pform, Fall, 1998


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