Michael Blum. Notre histoire || Our History

Authors: Michael Blum, Louise Déry, 86 respondents

Artist: Michael Blum

2014, 153 p., softcover
12,6 x 23 cm
French / English
Table of content
Graphic design: Raymond Lanctot
© Michael Blum, Louise Déry, Galerie de l’UQAM
ISBN 978-2-920325-50-0

The book Notre histoire || Our History is published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same title, a project by artist Michael Blum on the issue of Quebec and Canadian identity. The exhibition is the result of work carried out under the Galerie’s summer residency program. The artist has set up a museum in the exhibition hall, offering a fanciful rewriting of the history of Quebec and Canada, in addition to a publication containing the responses of 86 people to a survey on their vision of identity. This survey—”non-scientific” by the artist’s own admission— was addressed to more than 600 more or less public figures in politics, the arts, journalism and academia, to help establish a conceptual framework for his artistic project. The exhaustive views of the 86 respondents are collected here, running between cynicism and humour, candour and fervour, in English and French. They formed a kind of field of reflection on daily life. The publication is neither an exhibition catalogue nor an essay, but rather the report on research conducted by the artist with the goal of examining the history of his host country in the light of certain current events that exposed him to the dizzying notion of “identity”. The book reveals the answers to the following questions:

  • What is Quebec for you?
  • How would you explain the difference between Canada and Quebec to a foreigner?
  • If a museum had to preserve the history of the differences between Canada and Quebec, how would you envision it?
  • How do you see the relations between Canada and Quebec within two or three generations?
  • What common language other than English or French could we use?

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