1.26 Montreal, 2015, 2016, 2017
1.26 (One Point Two Six) hangs above us, a monumental floating form. In Montreal its presence fills the Quartier des Spectacles’ Jardins Gamelin with vibrant color and gentle movement. Composed of layers of technical fibers braided and knotted together, the form of 1.26 responds to the light streaming above it and the wind through it, while at night pulsing alive with projected colored light. The twin effects of the unplanned breeze and programmed colored light push against each other, resulting in an ever changing choreography. The content of the sculpture - like its movements, is open ended, and allowed to emerge within each viewer. Every person is encouraged to freely form associations and create their independent interpretation of the work.
Its title, 1.26, refers to the length of time in microseconds that the earth’s day was shortened as a result of a single physical event (in this case, data sets derived from the 2010 Chilean earthquake). It is constructed from fibers 15 times stronger than steel by weight in custom color blends that Echelman combines with light to create the dynamic final sculpture.
As a physical manifestation of interconnectedness, the whole of the net sculpture responds to the movement of any individual part. This interconnection reveals a dramatic contrast at play within the sculpture - that of the seemingly delicate fibers and tremendous scale - a contrast not dissimilar to the soft appearance of the sculpture against the hard verticality of the city. These contrasts beguile and engage the viewer, inviting a moment of contemplation amid the bustle and commotion of daily life.
Lightweight and flexible, 1.26 is designed to travel to cities around the world where it is an opportunity for individuals to reflect upon the interdependency that we all have with the larger cycles of the planet. First exhibited in the Quartier des Spectacles in 2015, the sculpture returned for three summers as a beloved icon, and has witnessed a profound regeneration of the Jardins Gamelin over the last four years. Originally commissioned for the Biennial of the Americas held in Denver in 2010, it has traveled to cities on five continents, including Amsterdam, Prague, Durham (UK), Singapore, Sydney, Santiago (Chile), Mexico City, Taiwan, and Shanghai.
“I'm excited to bring my work to Montreal - to this vibrant, ever-changing creative center,” Echelman said. “This sculpture reflects on the interconnedctedness of nations and the rippling of events over time, so the dynamic, fluid atmosphere of the Quartier des spectacles is ideal. My hope is that people will spend time underneath the sculpture and take a moment to contemplate the changing weather patterns - how the sun casts shadow-drawings onto the ground, and the wind and water interplay with the art."
Materials and Size
Spectra® Fiber, high-tenacity polyester fiber, and colored lighting
Dimensions of net: 80 ft. length x 60 ft. width x 30 ft. depth
Installation Dimensions: 417 ft. length x 165 ft. width x 110 ft. height
Art: Janet Echelman
Studio Echelman Project Manager: Melissa Henry
Design Engineer: Peter Heppel Associates (Paris)
Lighting Design: Quartier des spectacles Partnership
Photography: Ulysse Lemerise / OSA
Quartier des spectacles, Montreal, Canada