Marie-Pier Labrecque and Frederik Zacharek

Cité Mémoire comes to Complexe Desjardins

Dorimene & Alhonse dancing
Michel Lemieux at unveiling
Cité Memoire Tableau at Complexe Desjardins
Cité Mémoire projection at Desjardins

Cité Mémoire comes to Complexe Desjardins

Combining history, romance and technical feats

The creative and production team used letters written between the couple as inspiration to tell their moving story and highlight the prominent role that Dorimène Desjardins played. According to Michel Lemieux, “Cité Mémoire’s artistic stance is to use the emotions of the historical characters to tell the story and create a tangible connection with our ancestors. This work is set at the turn of the last century, between 1879 and 1903, the very early days of this social economy enterprise. In reading the couple’s correspondence, we learn about their dreams and discover just how important Dorimène was in the history of Quebec. Through this work, we wanted to show off this example of strong female leadership, which is more relevant today than ever!”

Technically speaking, Montréal en Histoires has achieved an impressive feat with this installation, blending it perfectly into the architecture and interior design of an essentially commercial building. At 46 feet high and 60 feet wide, the glass window onto which the tableau is projected is covered with a film that uses an electric current to render it opaque for the projection.

Visitors can listen to the accompanying audio in four languages (English, French, Spanish and Mandarin), and in two different ways: using a free mobile app or by standing in two specially designated listening areas on site (in French). The presentation is 8 minutes long and will be played twice an hour, every day, after dark.