Trou (2006) (Hole) is a response to the invitation put forward by the curators and management at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec to offer a pretext for an artistic intervention within the institution. Michel de Broin suggested that a hole should be made, wide enough for Engin (2006) (Engine), whose dimensions are much too large to pass through the entrance, to be brought into the exhibition space. The hol explains the presence of the engine, the engine justifies the existence of the hole.
Michel de Broin was born in 1970 in Montréal. His works embody modern utopian aspirations while seeking to escape their restrictive nature. The significance of his project resides in the doubt he raises about the capacity and value of ideas by actually making them operative in reality through works which cleverly reveal how material assemblages—and by analogy, social systems—behave when submitted to forces and pressures. The artist uses irony, in its multiple forms and means of expression, as a methodology to examine the inherent strategic conditions of possibility of a given context, then to oppose it with an unconditioned situation and finally to devise a way out.
His most recent exhibitions have been presented in many venues: Galerie Toni Tapies (Barcelona, 2009), Galerie Xippas (Paris, 2009), Eyebeam (New York, 2008), Musée d’art contemporain Val-de-Marne (Vitry-sur-Seine, 2008), Centre d’art Villa Arson (Nice, 2008), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, 2006 et 2007), Mercer Union gallery (Toronto, 2007), Berlinische Galerie (Berlin, 2007), Galerie de l'UQAM (Montreal, 2007), Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Quebec City, 2006), Haus am Waldsee (Berlin, 2006), PSWAR (Amsterdam, 2007), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, 2006), Kunstverein Wolfsburg (2006), Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin, 2005), Galerie Christian Nagel (Berlin, 2005), Bf15 (Lyon, 2005), VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine (Montreal, 2005), La Vitrine (Paris, 2004) and Villa Merkel (Esslingen, 2002). Installed in Maisonneuve-Cartier park, his work Révolutions (2003) is part of the Montreal landscape, as is his Entrelacement (2001) on the Lachine Canal. Michel de Broin received the 2007 Sobey Award.