Michel de Broin holds a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from Concordia University and a master’s degree in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He uses metaphor to offer reflections on the public, social, and political spheres. The temporary and permanent public art projects that he has produced are imbued with this quest, such as Overflow (2008), a chapel window that he transformed into a waterfall for the Nuit blanche event in Toronto, and Superficielle (2004), a huge mirror sculpture installed in the Alsatian forest.
Residencies, such as those at the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Gercy and the Villa Arson de Nice, have enabled him to exhibit his work in France, the United States, Germany, and other countries.
For nearly 20 years, Michel de Broin has been honing a trans-disciplinary practice by developing a constantly expanding visual vocabulary. Piece by piece, the objects he brings into play are universally recognizable, although their behaviour defies the functions and uses we take for granted. The inherent concerns of his artistic project are fascinating because the artist successfully establishes as-yet unseen relationships that trigger constant questioning. The remodeled objects he presents give us glimpses of worlds with tangible possibilities.
This sculpture is a model for a large-scale work installed at the Jacobin convent in Toulouse, France. Inspired by spiral staircases, the full-scale version of this work is five storeys high and has a 40-metre path. By forming a knot, the metal stairway deconstructs the symbol of vertical ascension with which it is normally associated, and instead, suggests the cyclical movement of evolution, transformation and time.