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Memoire du Futur

Memoire du Futur

Anne Poirier

Patrick Poirier

Memoire du Futur
  • Steel
  • 1992
  • 0.5 m x 0.5 m x 3.6 m
  • 225 King Street West, Metro Hall, Toronto

About the artwork

This 1992 work, Memoire du Futur by Anne and Patirck Poirier features a single stainless steel column in the classical greek style. The column is represented as shifted and misaligned, as though shaken by an earthquake. The work aims to have audiences reflect on the lessons of the past and how it can prepare us for the future. Despite the changes that the future holds, this work aims to ground audiences with a reminder of their past as they forge ahead to in their future. The imagery of the column evokes a reminder of the precariousness of civilization.

About the artist

Anne Poirier and Patrick Poirier are a French art duo. From 1963 to 1966 they studied at the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. After winning the Prix de Rome, they lived from 1969 to 1971 in the Villa Medici in Rome as fellows of the Académie de France à Rome. They currently split their time between Paris and Trevi. Though they have worked in a variety of media, including photography, drawing, installation and monumental public sculpture, their oeuvre has always dealt with themes surrounding memory, archeology, ruins, memento mori, disintegration, loss and remembering. As they articulate it, “we believe that ignorance or the destruction of cultural memory brings in its wake every sort of oblivion, falsehood and excess and that we must, with all the modest means at our disposal, oppose this generalized amnesia and destruction.”

Fun facts

  • Anne and Patrick are deeply inspired by the fragility of cultures and how to pass on traditions. These ideas were fundamental for both artists as activists and pacifists, to share the trauma of war conflicts, and criticizing at an early stage, colonialism and the destruction of cultural memory.
  • Working together since the 1960s has brought the two artists to embrace different passions and ideas, sharing a common interest and love for Ancient Rome, their collaboration demonstrates how power couples as Christo and Jeanne Claude, can create and shape new artistic dimensions.

Engagement questions

  • How does this piece make you consider your own history?
  • What lessons have you learned from it?