Opalescente Fiction, 21 sculptural chandeliers - CODAworx

Opalescente Fiction, 21 sculptural chandeliers

Submitted by Federico Carbajal

Client: Place des Arts de Montreal

Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $25,000

Project Team

Structural Engineer

Felix Bedard



Sergio Clavijo



Sebastian Maltias


OPLESCENT FICTION: 21 sculptural chandeliers, by Federico Carbajal at Place des Arts Complex in Montreal

The OPLESCENT FICTION proposal is located at the ceilings of the lobbies at Wilfrid-Pelletier Theater at Place des Arts Complex in Montreal. Built in 1963, it is today the largest multifunctional stage in Canada that regularly presents ballet, opera and music. In its lobbies one finds its original palette recently restored: the theatrical red of the carpet in complementarity with the gilds of the sculpture “The Radiant Angels” of Archambault and the golden curtain of the Piano Mobile hall.

The OPALESCENT FICTION proposal is based on the juxtaposition of two concepts: a reinterpretation of the shape and colors of a stage curtain and the immateriality of the light of the reflectors. Both use reds and the gold that is found in the lobbies.

Following the circular shape of the building and attached to the existing rails, 21 luminaires are dressed by suspended sculptures composed of two faces. The first one: a golden screen in diagonal towards the wall of the stage, consisting of a series of brass chains suspended from a linear structure attached to the existing beam. The second side: a red plexiglas screen in reverse diagonal that hides the lighting devices.



Through its colors, its materiality and its treatment of the light, the main goal of this project was to reinforce the theatrical atmosphere of the lobby spaces through the enhancement of the previous experience before getting into a show.


The project was selected through an open call for proposals. Once selected, the client required a structural engineer to validated de feasibility of the proposal. A prototype was built and installed, to be tested. The project was revised and reconfigured as a modular system to facilitate its fabrication, its installation and its budget constraints. The fabrication process was put in place through different external collaborators and the artist itself. The installation has to happened in a week, since it was the only timeframe when the theater is closed yearly for maintenance.