The Illuminated Crowd is a sculpture located in downtown Montreal on rue McGill College created by Raymond Mason and erected in 1985. The statue is a bigoted piece that represents the ideology of western triumphalism and how those who don’t fall into that ideology are left behind and minimalized. The statue presents the literal light of the west as all powerful and that the farther away from the light you are the worse off you are, presenting those worse off as grotesque and the ones in the light as idealized westerners.
The intervention’s aims are to express silenced voices and combat ethnocentricity, engage and criticize the concepts of western culture and superiority. Additionally the hope is to remove focus from unsightly art.
The intervention consists of creating a series of photographs and written stories that represent people from all over Montreal, aiming to represent people all walks of life. These photographs are to be placed on columns along the perimeter of the area, facing the statue, with small plaques telling the photos’ stories. By gathering people and their stories, we hope to combat the ideology of the statue, additionally the placement would remove focus from the statue.