Designed as an immersive audiovisual installation, the project consists of twenty four
transparent projection screens.The unique interpretation of each spectator and the
manipulation of spatial perception are the primary axis guiding the environment. In a dark
room, various screens alight, flicker, and interact with the public to generate a narrative
composed of familiar places and symbols that are at once being constructed and
deconstructed. In this space, spectators will explore a universe woven of memories and
recollections associated to the corn symbols.
For over 5000 years, man has cultivated and consumed corn. This food has nourished entire civilizations in America and, in comparison to rice and wheat, is currently the most widely consumed grain worldwide. Throughout this time, corn has also left an impression on our collective subconscious. By elaborating upon the various representations and symbols associated to this plant, Chantre has created an evocative, sensory, and abstract vehicle.
The numerous and diverse aspects of corn have inspired Manuel Chantre to create this evocative installation. The piece is made up of three parts inspired by three distinct discourses on corn. The first part is about corn and its relation to pop culture, fairs, movie theatres and summer gatherings. The second section is related to corn as a plant and as an agricultural object. The last part is related to corn as a modified and transformed plant studied by humans for thousands of years.
Dispergere Maiz unfolds as a nonlinear narrative wherein each spectator experiences a
different story. By using symbols, icons, and historical landmarks gathered from our
collective subconscious, the spectator's personal associations to corn will be brought to
The viewer, once subjected to an abundance of the various cultural representations of corn, will recall their respective experiences and intimate memories. As the performance unfolds, the narrative will take shape. For one, impressions and emotions related to a past experience may bring forth memories of corn as it was found in places such as the cinema or a local fair, thereby evoking concentrated, momentary recollections.
The Latin word dispergere signifies “to scatter about; to disperse”. This word brings to mind the concepts of dispersion, dissemination, dissociation, and relocation. These themes are the primary research focus of the project and the fragmentation of related imagery will construct and recreate this immersive space.
Chantre also intends to explore the unique sensory and spatial dimensions of his installation. Due to the configuration, juxtaposition and superposition of screens in this three dimensional environment, new spatial and narrative possibilities will be discovered. By experimenting with various social and psychological parameters, one's perception of space, distance, height and balance can be altered.
- Videopool, solo exhibition, Winnipeg (CA), 2012
- Society for Arts and Technology, Journées de la culture, Montreal (CA), 2009
- Audio interview, CKRL, La croche oreille, Québec (CA), 2013
- Article, Uptownmag, Steven Leyden Cochrane, Winnipeg (CA), 2012
- Article, Rhetorical analysis, Philippe Morin, Montreal (CA), 2010
- Article, Le lien Multimédia, « L’artiste Manuel Chantre s’installe dans le blé d’inde », Charles Prémont, Montreal (CA), 2009
Created in 2009
24 polyester projection screen, aluminium pipes, polyester ropes, 4 to 6 speakers, 1 to 2 subwoofers, 4 video projectors, computer, multimedia software, infrared camera and infrared light.
900 x 900 x 244 cm (configuration A)
900 x 1350 x 244 cm (configuration B)
Download / Listen
Video, music, interactivity and design: Manuel Chantre / Dressmaker : Nicole Cantin / Material consultant: Isabelle Kaliaguine and LouisPhilippe StArnault / Interactivity consultant: Pascal Boucher and Mike Wozniewski / Software and hardware consultant: Philippe Chevry / Device design consultant: Sébastien Dallaire / Communication: Martin Lapointe / Software consultant: Simon Piette / Video contribution: Francis Pineau / Photo: Stéphanie Chantre / Video assistant: Tomas Furey / Acknowledgement : Monique Savoie, Joseph Lefèvre
Dispergere Maiz has been made possible by the Vivacité Montréal program in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal, the Foundation of Greater Montreal, le ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles, le ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, le Conseil des arts de Montréal, and le Forum jeunesse de l'Île de Montréal.
The project “ Dispergere Maiz” profited from a residence of research and creation at the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT).