Canbec is a (proposed) sculpture in public space. It is a wall of prisms which show two flags. Depending on the viewpoint either of the flags is visible. The two flags used are a mixture of the Canada and Quebecs flags.
Ce matin, quand j'étais en route pour Ottawa, j'ai remarqué qu'il y avait un grand drapeau canadien juste avant le pont. Je me suis dit que c'était curieux qu'il soit pas de l'autre bord. Quand j'étais rendu à côté, j'ai remarqué qu'au lieu d'une feuille d'érable au centre, quelqu'un avait mis une grande fleur de lys- j'ai trouvé ça pas mal rigolo. En revenant, j'ai réalisé que d'en arrière, on voyait un drapeau québécois, mais avec des feuilles d'érable. Je sais pas « que c'est » ça veut dire - c'est probablement de l'art ou un projet gouvernemental pour la Saint-Jean, je le sais pas.
Geneviève Desjardins, Gatineau
I drive over to Hull every evening. I noticed that since a few days now, there‘s a huge flag of Quebec right after the bridge. At first, I didn‘t pay much attention to it but my colleague had told me about it so I had another look. When I got closer I saw that instead of the “fleur-de-lys” there were four little white maple leaves. The strange thing is, as soon as you ride past the flag, it transforms into the canadian flag with a big red fleur-de-lys instead of a maple leaf. I noticed that in the rear-view mirror. I mean, what is that? You can‘t just do that, can you? It must be offensive to Quebecers.
Robert Hughues, Ottawa
The two flags of the sculpture don‘t have the same size. The red side of the sculpure spans over 50.58% of the total surface while the blue flag has the remaining 49.42%. The share equals the outcome of the 1995 referendum.
Simulation of Canbec as an installation
Download a 3D-model of Canbec to be seen in Google Earth: Google Earth Model/Placemark
Flags are condensed symbols for an abstract concept of an identity.
By displaying it, identification with a city, province, region,
nation, union, confession, or sexual colouring is put on display.
When I first
came to Montreal in 2002, I noticed that the Quebec flag not
only flaunting above governmental buildings but in certain
neighborhoods as an private
expression of belonging. While having spent roughly two years
in Quebec over the last six years I learned about the conflicts
between the anglophone
and francophone interests and their different points of views
on the issue. As a tri-lingual foreigner I had no particular
preference or bias. Although
the conflict has already been source of violence including
the escalation into partisan terrorism the situation since
has changed. My perception
is that young metropolitan people are tired of the discussion
and regard the topic as an annoyance.
Franco/anglo relations and Quebec's position in the federal government is a constant subject in politics but it has balanced to an not only accepted but respected status quo. The stalemate outcome of the 1995 independence referendum created a situation where there is no either or, but a both. The sculpture uses the two flags mixed into each other, as symbol of this divided unity.
Both flags are relatively new but they are already ingrained in their nations imaginary communal conscious. The fleurdelisé was introduced by Maurice Duplessis in 1948. The flag of Canada made its first appearance in 1965.
The polarizing nature of the work makes the public response to an important aspect. I will collect all kinds of feedback and interact with it as far as possible to initiate an open discourse.
Page updated: 2015-07-24