Public Artwork

Tango de Montréal

Les industries perdues, Tango de Montréal, 2000
Les industries perdues, Tango de Montréal, 2000
Les industries perdues, Tango de Montréal, 2000
North wall of a house , 4433 Rivard street, Montréal, QC, H2J 2N1, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Les industries perdues (Hébert, François; Purdy, Richard)
Text author(s): 
Godin, Gérald
Marcotte, Denis (brickmaker)
Installation year: 

This bas-relief reproduced the poem Tango de Montreal by Gérald Godin. The work is integrated into the north side of a house. The bricks are colored terracotta pink. The letters are carved into the bricks. A row of lights is at the bottom of the work. Each letter is covered with a black mortar which facilitates remote play.

Text of the artwork: 

Sept heures et demie du matin métro de Montréal

c’est plein d'immigrants

ça se lève de bonne heure

ce monde-là

le vieux cœur de la ville

battrait-il donc encore

grâce à eux

ce vieux cœur usé de la ville

avec ses spasmes

ses embolies

ses souffles au cœur

et tous ses défauts

et toutes les raisons du monde qu’il aurait

de s’arrêter

de renoncer.

Artwork theme: 

According to the artists, " […] our philosophy of integration is that the artwork must fit with the environment […] the integration challenge does not consist in installing the artist's work in the engineer's, the architect's or the urbanist's work, but to establish links between the location and those who live in it; these links will enrich our world "

(cited by Robert Myrand in « Tango de Montréal », Espace, No 53 [fall 2000]: 12).


The work was done during the creation of the Place Gérald-Godin, as part of the redevelopment of the area surrounding the shrine of the metro station Mont-Royal.



The poem's title, the artist's name and the text reference are inscribed on the left side of the artwork. Gérald Godin was born in 1938 and died in 1994. He was a poet and Mercier county's MP between 1981 and 1985. A commitee approved the poem selection, which caused some controversy.

City of Montréal