Tabula Rasa (2010)

A photograph presented at The Art Gallery of UQAM for the 40th anniversary of the university

48" X 72"

In the early 20th century, the Latin Quarter of Montreal was the heart of the French Canadian intellectual community. It remained a prosperous area until the 40s, when it entered a long period of decline in which many Victorian homes were torn down to create space for wider streets and office buildings. A number of green spaces were paved over or turned into parking lots. For more than 30 years, the Latin Quarter has experienced decay and successive redevelopments. Around the mid-70s, the construction of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and then the Cégep du Vieux Montréal heralded a new interest, but it came at great cost to the local architectural heritage. The desolation of the demolition sites recalls that of war-torn zones. Under the onslaught of the bulldozers’ attack, the quarter has lost its sense of unity to anarchic development. This is a photograph from the UQAM war archives.