In the Shadows of the Floodlights: DARE-DARE at Quartier des Spectacles

By Edith Brunette
Text published in Esse art + opinions, nº 82
Fall 2014

“In June 2012, at the height of the Maple Spring demonstrations, ten or so individuals wearing identical t-shirts sat down on the edge of the sidewalk in front of Brasserie T! at Place des festivals to eat sandwiches. When they were asked by technicians from Équipe Spectra to explain their presence, one of them handed over a card on which was written: ‘Using public space is a privilege and not a right.’ A series of tense telephone calls between Équipe Spectra and the administration of Quartier des spectacles ensued, finally reaching DARE-DARE, which was coordinating the performance: the administration ordered it to immediately stop these ‘political’ acts. With Anne-Marie Ouellet’s Secondes zones project, the relationship between DARE-DARE and its new host, Quartier des spectacles, began in an atmosphere fraught with suspicion.
Even though these relations have since returned to normal, they nevertheless shed light on the growing tensions among stakeholders, for whom culture represents an economic mainspring, and artists, for whom profit is not the primary objective—and, between the two, the organizations that are trying to preserve their assets amidst the storm clouds brewing over cultural policy.”