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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Michel Goulet

Le carrousel de l'île

Presentation of the artwork
Le carrousel de l’île is formed of 12 sculptures made of galvanized steel and brass portraying human behaviours around two themes: “island” and “archipelago.”

In this project, as in his other projects presented in Montréal, Goulet transposes into the public space objects drawn from everyday life. Viewers may recognize, among other things, chairs, a Morris column, a cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road, and a ladder. The context imposes a fleeting contact, in rotation around the work; the “12 scenes” are experienced as a “sequence shot” repeated each time one passes in a car.

The installation thus transforms the island in the centre of the traffic circle into an “elsewhere” that encourages introspection. By merging nature and culture, sculpture and landscaping, it creates a fiction, that of Goulet’s “island,” in the midst of the asphalt.

“This artwork marks the passage from the turbulence of life
to a haven of peace, and vice versa.”
– Michel Goulet, 2004
Associated events
This artwork was produced for integration with a new traffic circle on Boulevard René-Lévesque in L'Île-des-Sœurs. The goal was to provide the island with an urban image that matches the quality of its development.
Michel Goulet
Born in Asbestos in 1944, Michel Goulet studied art at the Université du Québec à Montréal. A number of his large-scale projects are in the form of poem-chairs anchored to the ground in public areas, such as the ones temporarily installed at the southwest entrance to Central Park in New York (1990) and those in Place de la Gare in Québec City (2008). Goulet explored this concept when he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1988. His works of public art are also on display in Toronto, Lyon, and Paris.

He had a retrospective exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2004.
Awards and honours
  • Ordre national du Canada, 2012
  • Docteur d'honneur, Université de Sherbrooke, 2010
  • Membre de l'Académie royale des arts du Canada, 2009
  • Prix du Gouverneur général en arts visuels et en arts médiatiques , Conseil des Arts du Canada, 2008
  • Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, 1990
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Public commission from the Ville de Montréal
Accession date
December 23, 2004
Galvanized steel; brass
General dimensions
470 x 1500 cm
  • Goulet, Michel
  • Ladouceur, Jacques / Conception & réalisation JL Enr.
Le carrousel de l'île
Carrefour giratoire des boulevards, René-Lévesque et Ïle-des-Sœurs