19.11.2021 – 13.02.2022
The 5th International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN), organized by ELEKTRA
As part of the 5e Biennale d’art numérique Elektra, I present Castles made of sand, for the first time to a Montreal audience. It is an assembly line that rebuilds sand castles destroyed by celestial influence.After having infiltrated the 68th floor of the BMO bank tower in Toronto, the installation “Castles made of sand” had entered the imaginary world of the financial institution. It was like an industrial production line dedicated to the desperate construction of sandcastles. The paradox of production is pushed to its limit: in this line, destruction is an integral part of the process. The machine works in a closed circuit, using the product of its destruction as building material. The sandcastles are made and unmade endlessly, without fatigue.
2021.05.08 – 2021.06.07
Ruhr Ding: Climate
Urbane Künste Ruhr, Germany
Curators : Britta Peters and Vlado VelkovWith the artists Mariechen Danz + Kerstin Brätsch (IE/DE), Kasia Fudakowski (UK), Jeewi Lee (KR), Deborah Ligorio (IT), Yukihiro Taguchi + Chiara Ciccarello (JP/IT), Raul Walch (DE), and Klaus Weber (DE)
2020.02.09 – 2020.08.30
Milutin Gubash – La main du magicien dans la froide lumière du jour
Curator Michel de Broin
Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides – MAC LAU
In a world where exhausted resources force us to invent new solutions, the installation shows dismembered and acephalic bodies that regain control over their self-representation. How can we reconnect the pieces of the puzzle, when several pieces of the game are lost, there is no more glue or nail and the raw materials necessary to power our technology run out? Milutin’s installation is a low-tech spectacle of human comedy were the digressive game of a dance of death is recorded by obsolete devices whose image is blurred.Between reality and fiction, with his sense of burlesque tragedy, Milutin Gubash reconstructs his imaginary relationship with his native country from the stories told by his family. The animated members of this macabre dance, a memory of the collateral victims of the war, are staged not without humor and derision. Illuminated by fragments of depleted uranium, the specters continue to dance. (Michel de Broin)
2020.06.25 – 2020.11.08
Museum Leipzig, Germany
Curators : Lena Fließbach and Hannah Beck-Mannagetta With the artists Irwan Ahmett & Tita Salina, Michel de Broin, Kadija de Paula und Chico Togni, Nadine Fecht, Vibha Galhotra, Tue Greenfort, Swaantje Güntzel, Eliana Heredia, Bianca Kennedy & Felix Kraus, Wolf von Kries, Christoph Medicus, Klara Meinhardt, Alexander Oelofse, Dani Ploeger, Mika Rottenberg, Erik Sturm and Raul Walch
Nathalie Bachand, Canada Council for the Arts
Thresholds is an experience in transit. It calls to mind the velocity of our urban journeys, small moments in everyday time and space. The installation remakes the internal mechanics of door-opening devices found on old metro cars manufactured for the inauguration of the Montréal metro at the 1967 World Exhibition. The MR-63 car has now been replaced by more modern equipment, but its impact on the collective Montréal imagination is undeniable.
Entropic engines and retooled appliances: Michel de Broin and the technological unconscious
Daniel Sherer, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
The art of Michel de Broin centres on the paradoxical refunctionalization of utilitarian objects, mechanical devices, architecture and urban infrastructure. Ranging across a broad spectrum, it opens new perspectives on the multiple technical systems and forms of mediation that affect our lives, often in intangible ways.
Between the Possible and the Impossible
Nathalie de Blois, Musée national des beaux arts du Québec
For more than ten years, Michel de Broin has been honing a trans-disciplinary art which calls systems and their articulation into question. Adopting a critical and playful attitude towards common objects and current ideas, he sets out to render visible, through richly profound metaphors and analogies, the forces at work in the movement of the energies which guide our actions and govern our impulses.
Sculpture of Steel, City of Nerves
Bernard Schütze, Espace art actuel
Dendrites, a public artwork recently inaugurated along with its sit — Place de l’Aviation Civile International, is a fascinating and consistent extension of Michel de Broin’s ongoing and prolific art practice. In fact the work combines two elements that are characteristic of his multifaceted approach.
Michel de Broin at Bitform Gallery
Darren Jones, Artforum
Michel de Broin’s US solo debut activates cracked lightbulbs, wood logs, bronze castings, and a bicycle with electric currents. The Montreal-based artist calls upon these basic objects to convey fundamental physical forces, all the while adding a trace of whimsy to his works.
Michel de Broin
Bryne McLaughlin, Art in America
There's a dizzy logic to the work of Montreal artist Michel de Broin. Take, for instance, his sculpture Révolution, a maquette version of which opened his recent survey exhibition at the MACM. Commissioned in 2010 for the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes, France, the massive work (which remains in France) features a knotted, 100-foot-long steel staircase designed to confound notions of beginning and end.
Michel de Broin BMO Project Room
Bryne McLaughlin, Canadian Art
There is no beginning and no end to Michel de Broin's Castles Made of Sand (2016). Installed high above the Toronto financial district as the most recent commission for the BMO Project Room, de Broin's hulking installation pivots on a simple conceptual proposition: how to construct a machine that builds and rebuilds sandcastles.
Disruption From Within
Rodney LaTourelle, Plug-In ICA
For his first solo exhibition in Western Canada, Michel de Broin presents recent work in various media. His art may take many forms, from traditional sculpture to installations, actions, and video, but it always employs a rupture in the logic of a particular convention, whether it is an object, situation, or process. Perversions, detours, and odd juxtapositions are strategies that repeatedly appear in his work, which uses the combination of unrelated systems in order to expose overlooked preconceptions.
A Logic of Being Against?
Bernard Lamarche, Parachute
Resistance is born of one force’s thwarted affections for another... It does not confront the enemy in order to inflict defeat upon it but struggles with adversity, for which the adversary is only a stand-in, in order to weaken it and make it give in...
Michel de Broin, Etienne Zack, Mass MoCA
I recently carried out a performance involving a lumberjack and a lamppost. The historical movement known as “The Age of Enlightenment” or “Age of Reason,” to which Newton belonged, translates to “the Century of Light” in French, light being a synonym of reason and darkness suspected of belonging to witchcraft and magic.
Michel de Broin deepens his cross-disciplinary practice by developing an ever-expanding visual vocabulary. His approach to production explores the intersections between technological, biological, and physical systems. Crafting unforeseen relationships between waste, productivity, consumption and risk, de Broin challenges the use-value and conventional associations of familiar objects and symbols: he infuse them new meaning and develops new contexts.
His work has been exhibited at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; the Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne; France; the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; the Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg; the Museum Tinguely, Basel; the Centre d’art Villa Arson, Nice; at Eyebeam, New York; and at the Hessel Museum of Art, New York. His work is held in several museums and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; the City of Montreal; the FRAC Poitou Charentes, France; and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Germany.
His public art works and commissions include Dendrites, 2017, Montreal; Threshold, 2017, Montréal; Interlude, 2016, Québec city; Bloom, 2015, Calgary; Possibilities, 2012, Mississauga; Interlace, 2012, Changwong; Majestic, 2011, New Orleans; Revolution, 2010, Rennes; Arch, Montréal, 2009; La maîtresse de la Tour Eiffel, 2009, Paris; Overflow, 2008, Toronto; Encircling, Christchurch, 2006; Shared Propulsion Car, 2005, New York and 2007, Toronto; Révolutions, 2003, Parc Maisonneuve-Cartier, Montréal.
Recipient of the 2007 Sobey Art Award, de Broin has also received grants from Canada Council for the Arts, the Harpo Foundation (Los Angeles) and Krasner-Pollock Foundation (New York), and was awarded a residency at International Studio and Curatorial Program (New York), the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Acme studio (London) and Villa Arson (Nice).
He is represented by the Galerie Division, Montreal.