Thanks for Celebrating Me: A Mis-Guide

Do you remember me?

Do you recall my body; these little details that unconsciously fill your mind?

You might say hello every once in a while,

Or simply come in without paying any attention.

What if I tell you that this space you’re walking in is actually my body?

Do you know how much it hurts to be ignored?

Those who created me however were very brilliant and imaginative.

They made me beautiful. I’m big. I’m tall. I’m shining.

At dawn, the sunrays bounce on my surfaces.

At dusk, lights emphasize my greatest assets.

How come you are not thankful for that?

Hopefully, with what follows, you’ll be.

library building Hall building jmsb building

EV building

By Joelle Cytrynbaum & Béatrice Viens Côté

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3 comments

  1. Béatrice Viens Côté and Joelle Cytrynbaum created an extremely intriguing piece of work in their mis guide, “Thanks for Celebrating Me”. Through exploring the ares depicted in their visual works (a series of beautifully illustrated collages), and in re-reading their 12 lines of poetic text, I was able to consider the immense architectural value and geometrically pleasing aesthetic of the represented spaces; furthermore, I was able to consider the university as a body of its own.

    Their project contains no real guided starting and ending point and so I took the pictures at face value and attempted to travel to the first one they had posted and slowly move towards the last. Reading the first 5 lines of the poem, I recognized that the creators of the mis-guide wanted me to slow down, disconnecting my self from the past-paced goal oriented daily travels through Concordia, and to – as they say – stop and smell the roses. However the poem’s fifth line caught me off guard; they write, “Do you know how much it hurts to be ignored?” and in that moment, Concordia’s space becomes a body. This realization happened as I wandered through JMSB – the third photo collage. At this point, I actually returned to the library building (the first collage), because I had realized that it wasn’t enough for me to just consider the aesthetic beauty of the buildings and the way the architectural shapes conform to a visually pleasing symmetry; alas, in returning I begun to realize how Concordia’s hallways could be seen as the veins of the body, and the walls could represent the skin.

    While it was somewhat difficult to follow the guide as a physical tour through space (there were often times when I couldn’t find the areas located in the images), I believe the creators’ intent was to make the tour-goer reconsider their mental maps of Concordia and to distort our common perception of the Univeristy as a fast-past space, built and designed for education. They certainly succeeded in this subtle act of détournement.


    – Matthew Dessner

    Liked by 1 person

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