What a Thrill It Is: BGL's Carrousel

Posted by Alyssa Ellis, Production Assistant

If I asked you to run in a circle for a designated period of time would you gladly say yes? If I asked you to run in said circle while pushing suspended shopping carts, would you change your mind? If I told you those shopping carts where to be filled with smiling visitors of the Works Art and Design Festival would your whole perception of my questions change? In the middle of this year’s 2013 Works Art and Design Festival a jaw dropping, eye popping, heart pounding installation and performance piece by Montreal based group BGL stands waiting to be brought to life by human energy. In simple terms this work of art is a carousel constructed of crowd barriers and shopping carts. It contains no motors or fancy contraptions to run, only the strength and stamina of a couple individuals willing to give up their time for the pleasure of others. What a thrill it is. As soon as the crowd lines up, the barrier chain comes down, and the carts are filled and then balanced with excited patrons, you can’t help but smile and partake in their anticipation. The moment your hands connect with the back of the shopping cart and your legs begin to push forward to embark on the first rotation, your heart begins to pound faster and faster. And as you pick up speed and let go you ask yourself, “why did I sign up for this?” as my muscles ache, my breath becomes uneven and my throat quenches with thirst. But as I step back and look at the joy I’ve created on blurred faces, I remember precisely in that moment why I am here.