I ended my brief (too brief) to Pop Montreal yesterday with a visit to The Happiness Project: an art installation housed in a vacant apartment on Hutchinson Street in the Plateau. Agi, one of the co-producers, told me that the project was inspired by Charles Spearin's (Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think) album of the same name, in which he interviewed his neighbors on the subject of happiness, layered over with electronic sounds and music.
"Charles made the album because he wanted to engage with his community," Agi told me. "So, we thought: 'Wouldn't it be great to find a house or an apartment, where local artists could come in and take over different rooms, each inspired by a different track from the album? It would give people a different way of looking at their own neighborhood."
Each room had the track playing in a loop, either on speakers or headphones, and the installations ranged from video projections to dripping sleeves of personal objects. My personal favorite was the kitchen in back, where Agi and her friends baked cookies and drew with crayons, inviting anyone who stopped by to join them. It was the kitchen of an idealized childhood, the place where everyone wants to hang out during house parties, filled with warmth and friendship. And, oh yes, music. (More pics below.)