Freiner la chute - Oeuvre d'art public éphémère

June 10, 2017 - November 30, 2018

PhiIippe Allard proposes Freiner la chute, a monumental ephemeral work. This work, conceived specifically for a call for proposals launched by the Sud-Ouest district, works in a line approaching land art. Through this strong and unequivocal artistic gesture, Freiner la chute creates a direct link with the invasive problem of the emerald ash borer.

By exploiting the concept of the domino, it consists in the representiation of the hecatomb caused by an insect that makes literally fall the trees. The image of falling trees with assembled logs from cut timber demonstrates the intention to clearly communicate the severity of the situation on the surrounding ecosystems. Freiner la chute: it is the evocative force of this potential disaster. By a first plank already fallen and the first two oblique, the fall is initiated, the cause and effect is started.

The metaphor of the forest lies in the verticality of the work and the raw materials used, but also in the notion of passage and course. Frequent passerby are able to see the entire intervention that unfolds before them by crossing and at the same time appreciating the assembly details of each tree. It is at the same time a work of scale which can be contemplated in the smallest details, while remaining close to the human scale.

The evolving aspect of the installation is important, particularily by the change of color of the different species depending on the environmental factors; sun, wind, rain, snow, etc. The passage of the seasons would accentuate the living spirit of the work. This transition would have a favorable impact on the transformation of planks and shadows on the ground, changing according to the hours, weeks and seasons. Freiner la chute is rediscovered each time.

Production process of the work

Following the delivery of the 4 inch by 4 inch pre-cut and dried wood sections provided by the borough, the artist Philippe Allard and his allies started to work. The amount of wood needed to create this installation is over 2000 linear feet, the same quantity of wood cut last year, dried for 4 months, the equivalent of 1 linear inch per month of drying. It touches and is related to several species of wood. In addition to the Pennsylvania ash, the work is composed of small-leaved lime, silver maple, Norway maple and red oak.

Artist's approach

Inspired by the Arte Povera, Philippe Allard recovers and collects materials and objects from industrial production and diverts their original meaning by transposing them into a new context.

The products are most often chosen for their formal properties and in particular for the optical potential, allowing shadow and light to act by accumulation and multiplication. The products become public monuments that confront passers-by with the significance of the global impact of their daily actions made visible by the mutation of the objects of consumption of their original foundation. By perverting the nature of recovered objects and materials, he seeks to extend their meaning in a system to which they were not destined, that of contemporary art.

The transformed environment through industry is a predominant theme in his work. He wants to lead the viewer to consider the proximities between the artificial and the natural, as well as those between inspiration nature and the degradation of it. The installations are meant to be metaphors for the dilemma of our modern existence.


Self-taught artist, Philippe Allard lives and works in Montreal. His works have been exhibited individually at Articule art center, Fonderie Darling and recently at the Confederation Center in Charlottetown. He has also participated in several group exhibitions, including the 5th Marrakesh Biennale, in March 2014 and the 31st International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul in August 2013. Having taken to heart the interventions in situ, he also realized several public artworks and private works. He was, with Justin Duchesneau, winner of the Place des Arts de Montréal contest in 2009 and recipient of the AGAC public art prize for their installation Courtepointe in 2014. He created four sculptural works as part of the architecture integration program (1%) since the summer of 2013 and is about to install two more for the 375th anniversary of the city of Montreal in 2017.

The artist would like to particularly thank Les Ateliers Jean Brillant for their collaboration, as well as Geneviève Massé, project manager for DARE-DARE, for the increased support throughout the project.


Past Projects

June 6, 2017
GUILLAUME LA BRIE The starting point of the artwork is to locate urban furniture elements that are damaged in order to perform «repairs» on them. This operation initiates an artistic gesture where the repairing partly dictates the choice of shapes, scales and materials. The objective is to position my sculptures as prostheses replacing the missing or broken parts of selected objects.
May 27, 2017
PROGRAMMING LAUNCH Lancement + inauguration, Saturday, Mai 27, 2017 from 4 pm to 8 pm. Music by Dj 50 PIA$$E$ (aka Érick d'Orion). Hot-dogs and surprises!
May 23, 2017
MARION LESSARD From one word and its definition, Marion Lessard forms the poetical anagram of another word and its definition, which then take the place of the official ones, and so on, indefinitely, in a long chain of subversion. The aim is both poetic and playful: to insert within the Reference some Irreverence, to agitate the means of meaning. At the end of this extensive project, a whole new dictionary will materialize, which will yet be the same (understood as the sum of its letters).
March 11, 2017
SYLVAINE CHASSAY The artist brings together people from all backgrounds who want to share their dreams in a small group and live a common experience. Dreams, wishes, fantasies, ambitions, any form of dream is welcome!
February 8, 2017
CÉLINE HUYGHEBAERT My lists also track the ordinary. But an invisible ordinary. They give a density to things that leave no trace.
January 22, 2017
JOURNÉE D'ÉTUDE 2017 It is a tradition at DARE-DARE to hold a study day periodically. This moment of collective reflection is the perfect opportunity to examine our mandate in order to clarify its specificity, its objectives and, where appropriate, to review / refine / formulate new and relevant lines of research.