Art Forum Berlin: Berlin 2003

1 - 5 Octobre 2003 

1 - 5 Octobre 2003

ARTFORUM BERLIN, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, hall 20 / 109. 


(En anglais seulement)

The booth included works by three Canadian artists (two from Montreal and one from Toronto) and exhibited two installations especially conceived for Art Forum Berlin 2003, as well as one large-scale framed photo-based work. Their works explored the underlying relationships between floating imagery and the notion of passage.


Michel de Broin

"A book should usually present some content to read. This one refuses to signify. Instead, its reader is drawn through the senses into infinite otherness." Michel de Broin 

Described as an unclassifiable artist, de Broin philosophically plays at transgressing rules, artistic norms, and the social order. This contemporary art "stage director" creates peculiar visual art events. Worth mentioning is his performance - Matière dangereuse, recorded in video and photographs for Skol gallery - of a fictional arrest for driving around with an immense cube on the car roof. The artist was examining the road sign symbol - black square on white background - proscribing the transportation of dangerous materials. For the exhibition Artefact 2001 Urban Sculptures, de Broin produced Entrelacement, a temporary work that consisted of an unusable, twisted bicycle path. Recently, for the group show La Demeure (Optica, 2002), he presented a wandering trailer that he parked on downtown streets. Entitled Trou (hole), this unusual work featured an orifice that allowed onlookers to slip into the trailer and to curl up inside. At times ironic, at other times humorous, de Broin's creations have been shown, among other places, at Circa (1997), Skol (1999), the Musée du Québec (where he won the Québec Capital prize), and at Villa Merkel in 2002 in Esslingen, Germany. de Broin participated in several group shows including the Kunsthaus Baselland's Regionale and the Kunsterlhaus Boswil' sWhere is the lake in 2000. His work was featured along that of Gary Hill, Tatsuo Miyajima and Keith Sonnier in Au courant at the Center for Curatorial Studies in Annandale-on-Hudson in New York. He was commissioned a new public sculpture by the City of Montréal entitled Révolutions which was recently inaugurated.

His work can be found the collections of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Villa Merkel in Esslingen. He is the recipient of the 2002 Pierre-Ayot Prize given to a young artist by the City of Montreal. Serge Tousignant, President of theJury, stated: "In awarding Michel de Broin the Pierre-Ayot Prize, the jury is highlighting the originality, ingenuity and intelligence of his work. Widely recognized, its creative potential is evinced in de Broin's dynamic presence on the art scenes of Montreal, Quebec, and cities overseas. The versatility of his approach also testifies to the lucidity with which he looks on the world that surrounds us." 

Major exhibitions in 2003: 

The Villa Merkel/Bahnwaterhaus and the Galerien der Stadt Esslingen am Neckar (Germany) presented a solo show in 2003 and produced a catalogue in their series pick up # 04 entitled Michel de Broin, Épater la galerie/Mobilize. A work by de Broin has been purchased for the Villa Merkel collections. 

Jérôme Fortin 
Seascape/Berlin, 2003
plastic bottles installation, each element around 60 cm diameter, overall installation 4 meter wide

Seascape/Berlin is a new installation from an ongoing series inspired by bottles washed up along the shorelines of the St. Lawrence River. Fortin travels to various cities and transforms found objects collected in situ from which ever city he finds himself in. Seascape/Berlin will comprise several mural circles formed from coloured plastic bottles that have been cut and stapled to the wall - forming an abstract composition with unusual materials. 

"Transforming the mundane and quotidian materials of our existence, everyday objects such as phonebooks, telephone wire and plastic bottles are recycled and refashioned into exquisite constellations reminiscent of gardens and marinescape vistas. Employing mass-produced objects, Fortin reinvents and reinscribes these vestiges of urban consumption with new meaning, creating a series of aesthetically charged works that succeed in renewing our vision of and relationship with the objects that populate our llations reminiscent of gardens and marinescape vistas. Jerome Fortin, a Montreal-based artist whose practice is steadily garnering critical attention and exposure on the national and international art scene." Gaetane Verna - Bishop University Art Gallery (see images:; 

Fortin's work has been shown in several group exhibitions in Quebec and abroad, such as the Biennale de Montréal in 1998, Galerie UQAM in 2000, and the Officina America in Bologna in 2002. For a residency in New York, he produced work that was to be presented as part of the exhibition Growth and Risk – Québec New York 2001, but that was tragically interrupted by the events of September 11. The New York Times published on 11 September 2001 a major article on his process of creation: Plumbing a City's Curiosities in the Name of Art by Randy Kennedy. His first solo show within the institutional framework of a museum, Ici et là, was presented in 2002 at the Musée d'art de Joliette which is coordinating its touring in Canada and Japan. His work can be found in the collections of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée d'art de Joliette and several private collections. 

Major exhibitions in 2003: 

First museum show is currently circulating in Canada: Ici et là, organized by the Musée d'art de Joliette, travel plans include Japan.

Ed Pien, Water Gods Playing Tricks, 2003, paper, ink, gouache, 350 x 600 x 8 cm, (includes 13 small tunnels composed of multiple sheets of paper and drawings), private collection

This large-scale drawing installation (created especially for ART FORUM BERLIN 2003) depicts a watery scene of ghostly creatures and apparitions. This work consists of layers of papers punctured by openings. These openings/holes allow the viewer to look through into the depths of water. The images comprise of strange, hybridized figures that arise from the space between mythology and fairy tale, fiction and fact, taken from various cultures. 

The Taiwanese born Edward Pien, moved to Canada at the age of 11, and now makes his home in Toronto. He graduated from York University with an MFA and has exhibited extensively in Canada and Europe, most recently at the Canadian Cultural Centre (Paris, 2001), Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto, 2001), The Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2000), the Drawing Center (New York, 2000) and La Biennale de Montréal (2000 and 2002). Middlesbrough Gallery (UK) is currently touring a solo of his work in the United Kingdom. Pien is known for his large-scale interactive drawing installations. His singular work is influenced by Taiwanese mythology and beliefs mixed with Western traditions. His work can be found in public collections like the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, McIntosh Gallery (London), Museum London (Canada), Hamilton Art Gallery, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery (Kingston), University of Toronto Hart House, Kamploops Art Gallery, Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo (Costa Rica).

Major exhibtions in 2003

Groups shows in Germany at Neuffer Am Park, Pirmasens in 2003, Parkhaus, Berlin and the Kulturstiftung der Sparkasse Stormarn, Bad Oldesloe in 2002. He will have his first solo show in Berlin in January 2004 at Pruss and Ochs Gallery.

Marie-Jeanne Musiol

Kirlian photographs to be featured in a group show at Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe in the Spring of 2004



..Forget Manhattan, we'll take Berlin, article by Sarah Milroy, Globe and Mail, 3 October 2003, p. R7..