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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

PullFreight Congress, Swan Song Session

History & heritage Interdisciplinary Sculpture & installation Visual arts Photography
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PullFreight HQ

Winnipeg, MB

Directions: No elevator. Above Parlour Coffee.


Free, and accepts optional pay-what-you-may donations for admission.

Offered in English.

Has gender-neutral washrooms.


"PullFreight Congress - Through a process of manipulation, individuals and their circumstances have been conjured and released. Inexplicably the forgotten, the unknown, and the anonymous have come together to celebrate significant moments that never occurred."


Faced with a discovery of hundreds of historical (pre-revolution) Cuban photographs, on offer at Havana’s antique market, I felt no option but to acquire many. Immediately I began to group them – an engaging curatorial endeavour. Then I generated proposed narratives for my photographic collections - presuming the memories of people I had never met. Prescribed Jamais Vu. I could imagine the individuals in these groupings knowing each other – perhaps friends, associates, neighbours or family. But who were they and what were their lives like? A set of conjured histories, narratives emerged.

I searched Habana, New York, Toronto, Detroit, Windsor, and Winnipeg for what I could assign as their “personal effects”, their trinkets – souvenirs, keepsakes, and mementos. Cuban cigar boxes became the assembly point for the project – vessels for the ephemera of the forgotten, the anonymous, and the unknown.

And then. Everything fell out of the boxes.

The photographs and objects became the source material for what could be described as three dimensional collage.

The project became a conjuring machine for false memories and a strategy to consider the transitory nature of significance and the secret lives of objects.


For Nuit Blanche I will be opening my studio. Thats where the PullFreight Congress lives.

The installation is continuously evolving.



Gilles Hébert

Born in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba. I began my career as an artist and curator. Working both independently and with organizations such as the Winnipeg Film Group (Director), the St. Norbert Art Centre (Director), the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (Director) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Curatorial), I went on to become the Director of Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Windsor, and the Art Gallery of Alberta, before returning to Winnipeg as Vice-President of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In 2014, I left this career path and returned to my art practice.


This event is part of a hub:

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg Winnipeg, MB

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg is a free all-night exploration and celebration of contemporary art that takes place on the Saturday of the Culture Days weekend from dusk to dawn, produced by Culture Days Manitoba and the Winnipeg Arts Council. The e...