FIAC Officielle

Cité de la Mode et du Design

21.10.15 - 25.10.15

Paris, 13e

Booth C47
Opening 20.10.15
Presented by Galerie Eva Meyer


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Unsafe at Any Speed


09.10.15 - 20.11.15

Montreal, QC

820Plaza hosts Unsafe at Any Speed, a group exhibition organized by Eli Kerr featuring works by Ivana Basic, Valérie Blass, Michel De Broin, Matt Goerzen, Jon Rafman and Sydney Shen, with an exhibition text by Rebecca Lemire.

Dehorning [2015]
2001 Ford Focus Explorer body parts

Unsafe at Any Speed borrows its title from Ralph Nader’s 1963 expose on the American Auto Industry. The work, which hallmarked a fundamental moment in the history of consumer activism, revealed that the industry designed automobiles for aesthetics, speed and performance while neglecting to implement vital safety features. By the turn of the 21st century the unit of personal computers sold per annum had far surpassed that of automobiles. A black 2001 Ford Explorer was one of the last cars to be manufactured in the 20th century. Large, powerful and austere, the American SUV became emblematic of resilience in the early 2000’s, providing a perceived security and safety in a time plagued by anxieties of terror and existential risk. Deconstructed on site at 820Plaza, a former auto body garage, the Explorer has become a modern ruin and site to consider the ways in which contemporary forms of distress and uncertainty relate to technological environments, and how the legacies of these formations shape our bodies and the collective mental self.

Monument to Victims of Liberty


30.09.15 - 18.10.15

Hull, QC

War of Freedom [2014]
Bronze, guns, composite materials
67 x 64 x 66 cm

Rather than accusing the barbarian acts of totalitarianism, Memorial to Victims of Communism ineffectively assigns blame to an abstract notion. The ideologically polarized fiction of the Cold War commonly led one to tackle an evilly portrayed opponent. Yet, in a world engendered by a complex system of exchange that authorizes the free flow of over 1 billion firearms, it is difficult to establish the casualties of a liberal pathology. In response to the unnuanced erection of the memorial in Ottawa, the exhibition Monument to Victims of Liberty offers diversity with point of views that levy against the controversy of this political endorsement, which remains without perspective.

Common Space?

Quartier des spectacles

23.09.15 - 18.10.15

Montreal, QC

Common Space? is a tour of eight new works displayed at various sites in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles from October 1 to 18, 2015. It is the outcome of a creative process that merges the talent of 13 artists from seven countries, as they explore the question of humans at the heart of technology.

Molysmocène [2014]
Video projection on the façade of Théâtre Maisonneuve

Life on earth began with an erotic show in which nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and potassium intertwined in an opening dance. Three billion years later, due to humanity, organic activity on earth has deflated; the orgy is coming to an end. We are entering the Molysmocène period, the era of trash… But what if a new lifeform were born from the soup of capitalism’s discarded leftovers? The artist wishes to thank the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.


Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Inauguration: August 2015

St. Patrick's Island, Calgary

Bloom is the winning project of a public art competition organized by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation in April of 2013. The light-and-metal sculpture measures 24 meters and will be installed on St. Patrick’s Island in Calgary. The competition guidelines outlined the necessity for a sculpture that would be visible at night, in order to encourage people to frequent the site, which in recent decades has witnessed a decline in use. I accepted an invitation to participate in this national competition as I very compelled by the site, and could imagine my project contributing to the outstanding work of the landscape architect Barbara Wilks (W Architecture & Landscape Architecture). Wilks describes the site: “The 30-acre Living Island is all about creating a lasting and sustainable set of experiences that will attract a diversity of people, families and groups. Park elements include a new channel and beach, bikeway, new wetland habitat and boardwalk, interactive water feature, picnic areas, play areas and a multi-use space for festivals or markets are carefully positioned in restored natural areas to create a Living Island as an Active Park.”

As a child, I spent much time on Ile Saint-Helene in Montreal, an island comparable to St. Patrick’s Island in Calgary. The island was once host to Montreal’s most ambitious exhibition: Expo 67. While many traces—architectural, infrastructural—endure (Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome for example) Alexander Calder’s monumental public art sculpture, L’Homme, is perhaps the most important and significant remnant, and one of the greatest monumental sculptures in Canada.

Calder’s L’Homme is situated on an island comparable to St. Patrick’s Island. Strongly influence by this significant work, I wanted to actualize some similar formal strategies in my work Bloom.

Inspired by an encounter between the natural landscape of the park and the urban cityscape, large streetlights are assembled organically in Bloom: a seed of the city sprouted among the trees. This monumental sculpture of streetlights blossoms, softly awakening the island and watching over it at night. The monumentality of the lights lies in sharp contrast to the delicacy of the stems, filaments and petals. Devices of attraction, flowers and lights create points of encounter and interaction.

Bloom has been sited in reference to existing paths throughout the island.Tilted around an elaborate polyhedron, the tall poles extend their extremities in a stellation. Like a burst of rays, the asymmetrically arranged streetlights show all possible directions outward and concentrate strength inward. The projections of light connect the artwork to paths on the island and in turn, create a node or point of focus. By illuminating important routes, the radiant shape helps the urban dweller orient themselves within the city.

The sculpture introduces oblique lines in the landscape by folding the existing cityscape. Folding is a baroque strategy that produces movement, tension and exuberance. Bloom can be experienced from afar as a landmark and point of orientation. Equally compelling is the way Bloom is anchored to the ground extending its arms, embracing the sky.

The configuration of Bloom’s three supporting limbs liberates the ground in and around the sculpture. Rather than occupying a set area, commandeering the ground space at the expense of such a space’s other possible uses, Bloom instead creates a vibrant locale for congregation, interaction, and possibility in allowing people to make use of the space underneath and around the sculpture. L’Homme by Calder is in much the same spirit; rather than oppressively occupying a massive space, removing other possible uses for such space. Bloom creates a dynamic environment that invites people into its midst.

In Montreal, the Calder sculpture has achieved this in myriad ways; throughout the year it is sought out as a destination to meet, relax, or congregate, and it is now host to the incredibly popular Piknic Electronik music festival, which takes place throughout the summer, “under the Calder.” In this way, the sculpture is essential and instrumental to the vibrant music and festivals culture of Montreal; it is more then a work of art, it is a landmark of the city, it is the identity of the city.

Just as the abstract limbs of L’Homme play host to diverse interactions, the ubiquitous street lamps of Bloom, and the interaction they create between the natural landscape, the urban cityscape, and the people that populate them, promise to create new, varied, and enriching possibilities on St. Patrick’s Island.

Bike and pedestrian paths wind around and underneath and will allow people to interact with the sculpture and see it in detail. On the other hand, from the bridge and opposite shores, one can see the sculpture as a unified entity. For many thousands of years before the invention of the compass, the brightest stars in the sky guided us. Stars show direction and provide an imaginary goal to reach, a point representing the end of a journey. The star has multiple related meanings: direction, expectation, emancipation and light. Bloom can serve the same role for the city; it is a symbol of a promising new beginning for St. Patrick’s Island.


Division Gallery

May 19 - July 4, 2015

Montreal, QC

In Michel de Broin’s second solo exhibition at Division Gallery, the artist turns his attention to the governing laws and strategies at play in games. Interception, the exhibition’s title, implies being caught by surprise and reversing a course of action. Interruption and chance set the rules for disorderly architectural paradoxes, where the binaries of top/bottom, inside/outside, and individual/collective are collapsed in an open field of play.

Artefact (2015), a large-scale photograph of excavated wallpaper previously concealed behind layers of paint, is a scene of football players randomly dispersed on a field. In this choreography of tactical moves, the players are caught in a trajectory within which the goal of the game is ignored. The repeating patterns contrast with the overall alteration of colour and texture that time has imprinted on the players. In the midst of this buried childhood dream emerges a broken structure in the wall, simultaneously opening up a hole in the players’ field.

Also on display is Jeux de Tables (2014), composed of 24 ordinary tables reconfigured into a multilayered defensive structure. The title of the piece offers a play on words, with Jeux de Tables materializing the French term for board games (games of tables). With legs pointed out, the upturned tables are transformed into the armored components of a fortress-like structure. A shield against assault, the piece contradicts its own purpose by deploying the precarious equilibrium of a house of cards. The interlocking pieces of this disassembled puzzle are mutually self-sustaining, revealing their backsides covered in traces of their use through time.

In Drunkated Bunkyball (2015) de Broin returns to a familiar form, that of Bunckminster Fuller’s truncated icosahedron. Inspired by Utopian architecture, the piece is made of cast and re-painted swizzle sticks-mass-produced, collectible objects used as advertising mediums and globally distributed in casinos and bars. The geodesic formation of the swizzle sticks aims for stability, balancing tensile and compressive forces within its surface.


FreeBall [2015]
Colour photograph mounted on aluminum
24 x 16 inches

Artefact [2015]
Colour photograph mounted on aluminum
60 x 92 inches

Drunkated Buckyball [2015]
Bronze, enamel
32 inches in diameter

Based on a modular geodesic construction principle, Drunkated Buckyball brings together the optimistic, pleasant, and promising worlds of utopian architecture and entertainment. More than a hundred swizzle sticks are reproduced in bronze and joined together in an accidental configuration. The swizzle sticks intersect to form interlocking triangular components, building blocks that recall the utopian architecture of Buckminster Fuller. The swizzle sticks are joined to create a truncated icosahedron, a geometric form also associated with that of a soccer ball.










Artist Residency: Public Art Lab

April, 2015

Berlin, Germany

At the inception of life on earth, basic elements copulated happily in what is imagined as a “Primordial soup”. A vibrant diversity of biological matter was born from erotic encounters between methane, ammonia, and hydrogen, and in their gaseous “dance macabre,” more complex entities—organic monomers, amino acids, and then cells—came to be. Now however, two billion years later, scientists have noticed, a  deflation of organic activity on earth since the 20th century: the orgy is coming to an end.
The actions of the human species since the industrial revolution have been a geophysical force acting as a censor, inhibiting organic activity. This epoch wherein the geophysical impact of humans on the planet is made manifest is called the Anthropocene.

After the extinction of humankind, all that will remain is the trash of capitalist production—our garbage will persist long after we are gone. Amid the death, waste and residue, a new molecular dance may begin. Molysmocène is a stop-motion film that depicts this moment, when after the extinction of life, like at the origin of existence, new life is born again from inanimate matter, a dance of chemicals. Rather than the basic elements spawning from the stuff of stars however, the film will distill the extraordinary moment when new life is forged from the erotic exploits of the refuse left behind.

Nuit Blanche

Place de la cité Internationale - OACI

February 2015

Montreal, QC




At the inception of life on earth, basic elements copulated happily in what is imagined as a “Primordial soup”. A vibrant diversity of biological matter was born from erotic encounters between methane, ammonia, and hydrogen, and in their gaseous “dance macabre,” more complex entities—organic monomers, amino acids, and then cells—came to be. Now however, two billion years later, scientists have noticed,a  deflation of organic activity on earth since the 20th century: the orgy is coming to an end.
The actions of the human species since the industrial revolution have been a geophysical force acting as a censor, inhibiting organic activityThis epoch wherein the geophysical impact of humans on the planet is made manifest is called the Anthropocene.
After the extinction of humankind, all that will remain is the trash of capitalist production—our garbage will persist long after we are gone. Amid the death, waste and residue, a new molecular dance may begin. Molymoscène is a stop-motion film that depicts this moment, when after the extinction of life, like at the origin of existence, new life is born again from inanimate matter, a dance of chemicals. Rather than the basic elements spawning from the stuff of stars however, the film will distill the extraordinary moment when new life is forged from the erotic exploits of the refuse left behind.



Rien à Voir

FRAC Poitou-Charentes

18.09.14 - 09.04.15

Poitou-Charentes, France


En 2005, l’artiste Michel de Broin fait d’une Buick le héraut de la résistance à la
 culture de la performance en la transformant en voiture à pédales. Les éléments
«superflus» ayant été retirés (moteur, transmission, système électrique…), le poids du
 véhicule est donc allégé et il peut désormais se déplacer dans les rues jusqu’à la
vitesse de 15 km/h grâce aux passagers qui forment le groupe autopropulseur.
 En 2007, la Buick est utilisée lors d’une performance dans les rues de Toronto. Celle-ci
 est interrompue par les forces de l’ordre qui jugent la voiture trop dangereuse
 pour circuler sur la voie publique. L’ensemble des événements sont enregistrés dans une vidéo qui est entrée dans 
la collection du FRAC en 2009. Cette vidéo s’accompagne de la documentation 
judiciaire relatant les échanges lors du procès, document ici exposé seul. Conclu 
par un non-lieu, le procès s’est attaché à savoir si cette Buick était ou non une
 voiture, mais jamais se pose la question de savoir si c’est une oeuvre d’art. En 2011, 
le FRAC acquiert Shared Propulsion Car, la fameuse Buick transformée. Par cet
 acte, le statut d’oeuvre se voit clairement signifié. Cependant, résolument atypique,
 cette oeuvre n’a de cesse d’engendrer des questionnements quant à son statut.
 Que ce soit auprès des autorités judiciaires sur la nature de l’objet (voiture ou
vélo) ou auprès des professionnels de l’art au sujet de son autonomie en dehors 
des moments de performance (sculpture ou objet performable), cette œuvre 
affirme une posture artistique visant une résistance à tout type de schéma et 
 Documentation judiciaire accompagnant la vidéo Shared Propulsion Car 
collection FRAC Poitou-Charentes

Rien à Voir .pdf


Artist Talk

University of Victoria


Victoria, BC

Guns in the Hands of Artists

Jonathan Ferrera Gallery

29.09.14 - 02.02.15

New Orleans, LA

Decommissioned guns taken off the streets of New Orleans via a gun buyback program have been distributed to over thirty internationally known artists to use as the raw materials in making works of art dealing with the issue of guns in our society.  The exhibition will open on Saturday October 4, 2014 and run through January 25, 2015 in conjunction with Prospect.3 Biennial.

War of Freedom [2014]  decommission guns, Bronze, Forton

Violent people are born of a violent environment. Violence propagates like a virus; when the state, the police, and the army use violence against their citizens, the virus spreads throughout society, non-discriminately infecting all individuals. The weapons industry is an epicenter of infection. What kind of immunization can counter this violence? Love? Art? The answer is uncertain. The question remains: how can a society be cured of violence when its economy is inextricably bound with the ailment?


The Disorderliness of Things

la Galerie de l’UQAM

09.01.15 - 14.02.15

Montreal, QC

Curated by Marie-Ève Charron et Thérèse St-Gelais

This exhibition gathers works around the question of disobedience and disorder, both in relation to its inherent democratic dimension and its challenging of certain authorities and conventions. This project’s interest resides in its presentation of works which position themselves as sites of resistance, where counter-powers are embodied in a more or less metaphorical way.

(extract 3 min 46 s)
HD Video, color with sound, 20 min 6 s

The Trial is a reenactment of a court case that ensued the issuing of a ticket for the operation of an “unsafe vehicle” in Toronto in 2001. The vehicle in question is a 1986 Buick Regal that was stripped of its engine and interior, and transformed into a pedal car. The script of the film is verbatim the transcript from the actual trial, and takes for setting the New York City subway, as the Buick was originally made to lumber slowly through the arteries of New York, congesting the continuous flow of traffic. As the narrative unfurls, it becomes clear that the case against the artist, for operating the unsafe vehicle, is legally lackluster and the judge rules to drop the charges. Here, the artist is at the mercy of the court, and a compelling parallel exists between this court, and New York City itself; New York is in many ways the court of the art world—replete with judge, jury, and prosecution—making its underground transportation network the most appropriate locale for this retelling of The Trial.



Media Architecture Biennale 2014

Godsbanen Center for Cultural Production

19.11.14 - 22.11.14

Aarhus, Denmark

Smashy Face [2014] Intact and smashed incandescent light bulbs.

This wall installation proposes an interaction with media architecture inspired by skill games, amusement parks and by the recent archeological discovery of Stone Age smiling faces in the Amazon River. Placed on the wall in the form of a 16 x 16 grid, 256 incandescent light bulbs are used as a canvas for a Stone Age inspired performance. I used a cobblestone taken from a Berlin road as a tool to draw a face by smashing select light bulbs on the grid. The installation will need no external power to smile.

In the context of a media arts festival, Smashy Face undermines the ever-present imperative to use increasingly complex technologies as a means of feigning innovation. Returning to analog forms of image making—but making wry reference to binary expression with the bit-like 16 x 16 grid—each light bulb smashed represents an exploded pixel here. The work stands in stark contrast to the embellished technological works, to suggest instead, that there remains traction in concise gestures and raw materials.