No Traffic 1 of 2

Performance artists stage an action called "No Traffic" in the middle of a construction site on St. Lawrence Blvd. in Montreal.

00:00Copy video clip URL A person walks along a city street under construction. Various b-roll of the street torn up, concrete being laid and smoothed, construction crews at work. Cement mixers in motion. Passersby. A guitarist sits and plays on the opposite sidewalk.

02:50Copy video clip URL Young men and women stand in the construction area doing yoga-like exercise. Trucks and other construction vehicles roll past. Onlookers watch the group. A photographer takes pictures of the spectacle.

08:30Copy video clip URL Someone takes out a video camera and starts recording the scene. Some participants start meditating, chanting: “Om.” Other participants start miming the action of shoveling and digging. One of the participants starts to flail, feigning pain. Another calls a warning to the crowd: “No drugs!” The crowd continues looking on. One of the participants wonders around telling the crowd: No drugs! The young man feigning pain and seizures continues his act. “Can you do nothing to help me?” A woman yells at him in French. The man continues his performance, playing sick. The scene continues with the actors performing in a dirt hole in the street created by the construction workers. The man in mock pain calls for an elephant to move the rock off his leg.

15:00Copy video clip URL Onlookers gather and watch. The construction workers continue working around them. One man near the performers starts a motorized sledgehammer. The actors continue performing, ignoring the construction work around them. The noise of the sledgehammer drowns out all the other noise. One passerby asks the videographer what happened. “I think it’s a play.” “I thought he was really sick, that he fell in the hole.” Continued b-roll of the man playing injured in the hole.

19:22Copy video clip URL The sledgehammer stops. The crowd continues watching the performance. The actors are chanting and yelling. One actor gives a speech about liberty. Erratic photography, the videographer searches for a subject.

20:29Copy video clip URL The videographer asks an onlooker what he thinks. He says the action isn’t the actors, it’s the people around watching them. It’s a good idea.

20:55Copy video clip URL Another onlooker is furious. He says, “It’s a shame. Let (the construction workers) do their work!” A woman says, “They’re trying to make theater for everybody.” The irate man is not convinced that’s a legitimate reason. The woman asks, “Do you know what the name of the play is? It’s called ‘No Traffic.’ Don’t you think it would be nice if there was no traffic?”

22:40Copy video clip URL END



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