Simon Pope | Toronto Waterfront artist-in-residence 2023
Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl...

This wave of memories, live

Two mountains made by turning the room "upside down" at the Radisson Blu Downtown Toronto. 13th November 2023.

In Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl... I revisited the process used to make Walking Round My Room (2005), a series of sculptural pieces that use hotel room furniture and fittings to approximate walks among various hills and mountains.

As in other artworks developed as part of walkingtowork, I have been interested in opening-up these artistic processes to people who have migrated to Toronto's waterfront – whether to live or to work – and who have a strong attachment to another place. In this instance, we approached the Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown in the hope that Walking Round my Room could be adapted to involve someone who works as a housekeeper or cleaner at the hotel, and to re-model the room to resemble somewhere familiar to them.

'Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, and the Paso de Cortés on the waterfront' was made with Karla Ibarra, housekeeping manager at Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown. The sculpture that you see was made from Karla's description of two mountains of great significance to those who live in Mexico: Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl – the warrior and the princess (or "sleeping woman") of Aztec mythology.

In keeping with the methods used in other artworks in this project, the two of us "turned the room upside down" over the course of 30 minutes, moving objects around the room as we talked, stacking and balancing things – sofas, beds, bedding, tables, ironing boards, pillows, lamps, and so on – to approximate the shape of the two legendary mountain peaks and the pass that connects them.

The time-lapse (shown here) gives some indication of our practical work. The photo (above) shows the result. A print of this image will be installed in the Radisson Blu restaurant.

Time-lapse of construction process.

With special thanks to:

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