The “Politique québécoise d’intégration des arts à l’architecture et à l’environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publicsˮ is already more than 50 years old! This government policy requires that approximately 1% of the budget for the construction of a public building or site must be dedicated to art. As a result of this policy, over 3500 artistic creations have been incorporated into projects built with public funds in Quebec over the past 56 years.
Effects Publics, a collective of artists, created the art installed throughout the Library Building. Rose-Marie Goulet, who was part of the original collective, is in the process of adapting the installation normally located on the LB-2 landing (see photo below) to the new layout. She is planning to include a brand-new video that will be shown on the future built-in screens. A project-specific software will create super-impositions by randomly selecting among the multitude of stills and moving shots taken by the artist and her photographer. The software will also assure that any given combination of superimposed images will not be repeated twice; de facto creating new integrated images every time. Ms. Goulet’s photographer took numerous close-ups of hands writing in other alphabets, ideograms and scripts; of hands turning pages of rare books or books written in languages other than English or French, doing computer searches, coding new books upon arrival and restoring old ones, shelving and recycling books; in short, looking at all the aspects of a book’s life cycle. Many library staff at Webster Library, Vanier Library and Grey Nuns Reading Room contributed.
In order to preserve the original design of the white floor tiles on LB-2 that is an inextricable part of the installation, the architects worked closely with Effets Publics to incorporate tile designs in the flotex carpet recently installed. Flotex is a textile floor covering that combines the characteristics of a resilient floor with the comfort of a carpet. It is completely waterproof and washable.