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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Louise Viger

Des lauriers pour mémoire, Jean-Duceppe 1923-1990

Presentation of the artwork
Parc Jean-Duceppe is transformed into an immense theatre in which this artwork, reminiscent of a stage curtain, echoes plant life. It pays tribute to the artistic commitment and values that guided Jean Duceppe throughout his life. One side reveals metal laths woven into the contours of a tree; on the other side are laurel leaves in arabesque, crowning the career of this man of the theatre. The figure of the tree is essential to the meaning of the artwork. It expands from its centre and opens out, thus symbolizing the actor’s career. The elevation of the artwork is measured against the elevation of the two stages erected at the north and south ends of the park. Rather than a likeness of Duceppe, it is a tribute to his artistic activities and the values that guided him throughout his professional life.

There is a bit of Québec in this “Je me souviens.” With the laughter of the children in the park. Among these strollers, and in this tangible, real, now inescapable mark made by the accumulated steps of the great actor who was Jean Duceppe.
– Louise Viger
Associated events
Theatre director and actor Jean Duceppe was born in Montréal in 1923. In the late 1940s, he made his début in the theatre with Arcade, the only professional theatre company in Montréal at the time. After a short stint with Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, he joined Yvette Brind’Amour’s company, Théâtre du Rideau Vert. In 1973, he founded La Compagnie Jean Duceppe, testifying to his commitment to the theatre world. He also made his mark in movies and television, notably starring in Claude Jutra’s Mon oncle Antoine. The recipient of numerous awards, he received the Prix Denise-Pelletier in 1979 and the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec in 1985.
Louise Viger
Louise Viger lives and works in Montreal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from Université Laval (1978) and an MFA from Concordia University (1986). Since 1980, Viger has produced many sculptural works of public art and numerous installations in which she links poetry, music, and dance to the visual arts. In addition, she has had work in exhibitions in Canada and the United States, including one at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2000. Her approach has been cited in major books on the history of Quebec art.
Awards and honours
  • Bourse Volet production, Conseil des arts du Canada, 2012
  • Bourse A, Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec, 2008
  • Bourse A, Conseil des arts et des lettre du Québec, 2004
  • Bourse A, Conseil des arts et des lettre du Québec, 2002
  • Bourse A, Conseil des arts et des lettre du Québec, 1999
  • Bourse B, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, 1991
  • Bourse de projet, Conseil des arts du Canada, 1990
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Mode of acquisition
Public commission from the Ville de Montréal (competition by public notice)
Accession date
January 19, 2009
Forging; welding; assembly
Stainless steel
General dimensions
240 x 1130 cm
  • Ladouceur, Jacques / Conception & réalisation JL Enr.
  • Aciers Inoxydables CFF (Québec) Inc.
  • Blais, Marie-Claire
Des lauriers pour mémoire, Jean-Duceppe 1923-1990
Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie
Parc Jean-Duceppe