Rotary’s Kempenfelt Habitat Lagoon, South shore
A series of seven rusted metal pedestals in which the letters of the word “Babylon” are formed as interior voids. Mounted atop one pedestal is a large urn set at a tilt, and atop another is one of McEwen’s trademark images: a steel silhouette of a wolf seen in profile. Just offshore on the rocky islands is another wolf silhouette and a small sculpture of a satellite dish.
"Inner and outer landscapes […] outside and inside […] mind and nature." (Moore 2003, p. 29-34 passim): the human relationship to nature, civilization's mark on the landscape, back to the origins of a landscape untouched by civilization.
• 1991: Installing the first part of the work, McMichael Gallery (McMichael Canadian Art collection in Kleinburg, Ontario).
• Fall 1993: Purchased and donated to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, from a collector in Montreal.
• Fall 1993: Exhibition: Art, Architecture and the Environment, an event in which the work was to be presented, is canceled.
• Summer 1994: Development of the work (creation of Tower of Babel).
• Spring 1996: Tower of Babel is added to the installed work.
• Walks, art in the city, from September 1 to November 24, 1996: A variant of the work entitled After Babel / A Civic Square, conducted in collaboration with Marlene Hilton-Moore, is on display at the 350th anniversary of the city Montreal. It stood at the corner of de Maisonneuve Boulevard and Saint-Urbain Street.
• 1996: Prosecution about the donation of the work (Robert and Signy McMichael sue the Ontario government).
• 2003: Shore / lines: Responding to Place, Barrie.
• A brief chronology of legal and political debate around this work is available in the exhibition catalog Shore / lines: Responding to Place.
The text refers to Rivers of Babylon, a song by The Melodians (from the soundtrack of The Harder They Come, directed by Perry Henzell, International Films, Jamaica, 1972, 110 min.)