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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Michel De Broin

L'arc

2009
Presentation of the artwork
In the Floralies gardens on Île Notre-Dame, Michel de Broin’s sculpture portrays a tree whose crown plunges into the ground to form an arch, rooted at each end. The artwork, made of concrete and stainless steel, fits harmoniously with the natural greenery of Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Although he has died, Allende is still a vivid source of inspiration for the entire Chilean community residing in Montréal. The artist has interpreted the vigour of this heritage in the figure of the tree, whose powerful roots evoke the importance of transmission, taking up the horticultural metaphor used by Allende himself in his final speech: “I am certain that the seed which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever. They have strength and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested neither by crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.” 1

1. Salvador Allende, excerpt from his final speech, Radio Magallanes, 11 September 1973. http://www.marxists.org/archive/allende/1973/september/11.htm
Associated events
The work celebrates the 100th birthday of Salvador Allende. A physician and politician, Salvador Allende was president of Chile from 1970 to 1973. His mandate ended suddenly on 11 September 1973: a coup d’état led by Augusto Pinochet deposed his socialist government and installed a military dictatorship that lasted 17 years. The artwork is a reminder of the humanitarian and democratic values promoted by Allende.
Michel De Broin
Born in Montréal, Michel de Broin holds a bachelor's degree in visual arts from Concordia University (1995) and a master's degree in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal (1997). His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he has produced a number of temporary and permanent works of public art, including Dendrites (2016) at Parc Kirchberg (Luxembourg). He uses metaphor to offer reflections on the public, social, and political spheres.
Awards and honours
  • Le Prix Sobey Art, 2007
  • Le Prix Reconnaissance UQAM, 2006
  • Le prix Québec-Capitale, fondation Découverte, 1998
  • lauréat/lauréate, Prix Pierre-Ayot, 2002
  • Prix Graff, 2006
Detail
Variation of title
Hommage à Salvador Allende (1908-1973)
Category
Fine Arts
Subcategory
Sculpture
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
2009
Mode of acquisition:
Public commission from the Ville de Montréal (competition by invitation)
Accession date
January 1 2009
Materials
Concrete, stainless steel
General dimensions
305 x 470 x 125
L'arc
Borough
Ville-Marie
Park
Parc Jean-Drapeau, Île Notre-Dame