McLarena is a commissioned work by the Quartier des Spectacles and the National Film Board of Canada for the McLaren Wall-to-Wall tribute, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Norman McLaren’s birth.
The installation is inspired by the film Canon (1964), created by Norman McLaren and Grant Munro. The film illustrates the principle of a musical and visual canon with a character proceeding through a sequence of movements, which are reproduced in regular intervals. The choreography progressively reveals interaction between the repeated characters, for example, they salute, nag and try hitting each other.
View the original film
Do the McLarena
The work proposes a contemporary hommage to McLaren’s tongue-in-cheek approach by inviting passersby to collectively reproduce the choreography from the original film.
Within a recording booth, a split screen presents the character to imitate on the right and a live view of the participant on the left. Each participant imitates the previous one, hence creating a collaborative dance that constantly evolves, all the while taking on each person’s interpretations. The choreography is then projected onto the monumental façade of an adjacent building.
Seating is provided to create an impromptu outdoor theatre, and to enable those less willing to perform to still be part of the game and watch the spectacle together. The location, normally a transient space, is transformed into a vibrant public place.