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Sisyphus, Victor Pilon, 2021
Photograph: Louis-Daniel Vallée

This artist's public show at Montreal's Olympic Stadium is a 30-day Sisyphean struggle (VIDEO)

6 days a week, 7 hours a day, for 30 days, Montreal artist Victor Pilon has been moving 144 tonnes of sand from one mound to another.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Since September 28, Montreal artist Victor Pilon has moved the equivalent of 144 tonnes of sand from one mound to another over the course of more than 360,000 steps. Taking place 6 days a week, 7 hours a day, for 30 days until October 27, it's a free and public marathon performance happening now at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

It's the first solo performance of Pilon's career, produced by Lemieux Pilon 4D Art with the support of the Olympic Park and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), and with the music of Montreal's Dear Criminals.

“The tragic death of my partner Sylvain led me to this project. We all have to mourn the fact that life is absurd in order to be able to arrive at a form of freedom, even happiness. As in the popular expression work work work, day after day, Sisyphus pushes his boulder to the top of a mountain, from where it always ends up coming down," Pilon writes.

"This project is an effort to understand the eternal restart, to grasp the absurdity of existence, a desire for clarity, a quest for the why that dwells in all of us.”

It's the first museum activity to be held within the walls of the Olympic Stadium in 45 years.

"Throughout the performance, close connections happen with the people around me. Each member of the audience gives me energy to continue my quest. And, when I give the shovel to a member of the audience, an emotional bond is created when for a few moments, the person becomes Sisyphus," says Pilon.

Sisyphus, a performance marathon by Victor Pilon, is taking place in the East Hall of the Montreal Olympic Stadium (4545 Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue, Pie-IX station) from Tuesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free, proof of vaccination is required to enter.

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