Musée d'Art Contemporain

Michel de Broin

24 May - 02 Sep 2013

Michel de Broin, Blowback, 2013
10 × 4 × 4 m
Avec l’aimable permission de la
Galerie Division, Montréal
Michel de Broin, Blowback, 2013
10 × 4 × 4 m
Avec l’aimable permission de la
Galerie Division, Montréal
Photo : Guy L'heureux
Michel de Broin, Dead Star, 2008
Piles usagées, uréthane et polystyrène
34 × 52 × 27 cm
Achat, grâce au Symposium des
collectionneurs 2012, Banque
Nationale Gestion privée 1859
Collection du Musée d’art
contemporain de Montréal
Michel de Broin, Bleed, 2009
Perceuse électrique,
pompe, eau
78 × 122 × 122 cm
Collection Giverny Capital
Michel de Broin, Keep On Smoking, 2005-2010
Bicyclette, génératrice, pile,
jauge analogique, machine
à fumée
100 × 85 × 60 cm
Collection de l’artiste
Michel de Broin, 100 watts / 3 watts, 2007-2013
Ampoules, câble, soudure
25 × 25 × 15 cm
Collection de l’artiste
Michel de Broin, Pile, 2010
Épreuve giclée
107 × 150 cm
Collection de l’artiste
Michel de Broin, Relief, 2008-2012
Diptyque : plâtre Hydrocal
et photographie jet d’encre
43 × 61 × 30 cm (sculpture)
41 × 61 cm (photo)
Collection de l’artiste
Michel de Broin, L’Abîme de la Liberté, 2013
28 × 38 × 143 cm
Avec l’aimable permission de la
Galerie Division, Montréal
To launch the summer season, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is presenting a critical overview of the work of Michel de Broin. The first major Canadian museum exhibition devoted to this Montréal artist, Michel de Broin brings together some thirty pieces, several of them new and produced specially for this occasion. At the same time, the MAC has mounted the first solo show in Canada focusing on Brooklyn-based artist Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation. Michel de Broin and Eve Sussman ● Rufus Corporation will be on view at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal from May 24 to September 2, 2013.

Michel de Broin

The selection of works from the last decade on display in the exhibition Michel de Broin attests to the artist’s persistent interest in the notions of resistance, appropriation and recycling. Over the past twenty-plus years, this multidisciplinary artist has continually challenged systems of all kinds and the way they operate. Adopting a critical yet playful point of view toward everyday objects and preconceived ideas, de Broin applies analogies and metaphors to reveal the forces that frame and direct our actions and interactions in our day-to-day environment. The artist explores the coexistence of opposing elements and the relationship between the strange and the familiar, explaining: “One of the premises of my practice involves introducing a foreign element into a normative system to see how that agent produces an unexpected reaction in its new setting.” A notable example is Silent Screaming, a seminal work from 2006-2007 that features a device designed to muffle the sound produced by an alarm system by creating a vacuum3⁄4an environment where sound cannot travel. Visitors can see the movement of the hammer striking the bell jar, but the alarm “scream” is inaudible.

De Broin favours an experimental approach, so that his works are perpetually evolving. Often, the boundaries between preparatory sketch and model, documentation and finished piece, become merged and blurred. A model may in fact be presented as a work in itself, only to be reborn later in the form of a sculpture, photograph or video. This exhibition includes updated versions of some pieces previously shown, such as Embrase-moi, 1993-2013, and Objet perdu, 2002-2013.

The works newly created by the artist in 2013 for this show are the monumental Blowback—two 2/3-scale replicas of World War II Howitzer cannons looped together at their front ends—Anthropométrie, Étant donnés, L’Abîme de la Liberté, L’Étendue de l’abîme, Tenir sans servir c’est résister and Têtes de pioches.

Born in Montréal in 1970, Michel de Broin was the winner of the 2007 Sobey Art Award and took part in the first Québec Triennial at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2008. He has exhibited in Europe, the United States and Canada, and has presented a number of major public-art projects (both permanent and temporary), among them Majestic (New Orleans, 2011), Révolution (Rennes, 2010), La maîtresse de la tour Eiffel (Paris, 2009), Overflow (Nuit Blanche, Toronto, 2008), Encerclement (Scape Biennial, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006), Shared Propulsion Car (Exit Art, New York, 2005 / Mercer Union, 2007) and Révolutions (Ville de Montréal collection, Parc Maisonneuve-Cartier, 2003). The MAC collection includes the imposing sculpture Black Whole Conference, 2006, a spherical assemblage of 72 chairs, and the recently added Dead Star, 2008, Cut into the Dark, 2010, and Drunken Brawl, 2011, acquired at the sixth edition of the National Bank Private Wealth 1859 Collectors Symposium. Works by de Broin may also be found in private and public collections in France, Germany, Korea, the United States and Canada.


The exhibition Michel de Broin was organized by Mark Lanctôt, curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.


In connection with this exhibition, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has published Michel de Broin, a 160-page catalogue illustrated with 30 colour plates; some 60 black-and-white photographs illustrate his earlier works. The publication includes an essay by Daniel Sherer, titledEntropic Engines and Retooled Appliances: Michel de Broin and the Technological Unconscious, and an interview with the artist, by curator Mark Lanctôt. It may be purchased for $29.95 at the MAC Boutique and in bookstores.

Tags: Michel de Broin, Eve Sussman