Hommage à sa Gracieuse Majesté

photo: courtesy of Martin Bureau

Reminiscent of the humor and aesthetic of the cut-coin jewelry we’ve posted here before, Martin Bureau’s, “Tribute To Her Graceful Majesty” operates at a larger scale, generating proportionally bigger controversy. For those who somehow managed to avoid the news coverage yesterday, here’s the story:

Quebec City based arts organization Folie/Culture commissioned ten artists to design manhole covers in celebration of the city’s 400th anniversary. Bureau seized the opportunity to “remind people that while they are joyfully celebrating the 400th this year, there is a less talked about anniversary coming up in 2009″ – the British conquest of Quebec in 1759. Bureau created a ‘colonization trophy’ by combining both faces of the 25 cent Canadian coin, producing an image of the Queen sporting caribou antlers in place of her crown. The text around the image reads, “Kwebec 1759-2009, Quarter of a buck”.

In response to the sensitive imagery, the foundry sponsoring the project refused to produce the design. So, Bureau had the work produced by another foundry at his own expense, but city officials refused to install the work. As a result, this local project now has a national audience.

You can check out the other nine designs by Thierry Arcand-Bossé, François Chevalier, Cooke-Sasseville, Amélie Laurence Fortin, Laurent Gagnon, Paryse Martin, Jacques Samson, Les Sœurs Couture and a team from Folie/Culture in Qubec City’s Quartier Saint-Roch.

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