Constructing Memory from Within
Shock waves from a tragic event in Montréal history shape the
landscape of remembrance.
By Heather Hammatt, ASLA
On December 6, 1989, 14 women (13 students and one university employee)
were killed by gunman Marc Lepine, who went on an antifeminist rampage
after failing to be admitted to the Ecole Polytechnique, the Université
de Montréal's engineering school, in an incident that has come to
be known as the Montréal Massacre. When the city of Montréal commissioned
artist Rose-Marie Goulet to design a memorial commemorating the
10th anniversary of this tragic incident, they chose a design that
departs from the traditions of memorial design, commonly seen in
Montréal, using one collective vertical structure to commemorate
an event. Instead Goulet makes use of the entire surface of the
site to create a contemplative space for reflection and remembrance.
"Everybody remembers the name of a killer. Nobody remembers the
names of the victims. I thought it was important to remember their
names," says Goulet. With her design, Nef pour quatorze reines
(Nave for Fourteen Queens), the names Genevieve Bergeron, Helene
Colgan, Nathallie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward,
Maud Haviernick, Barbara Maria Klucznick Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere,
Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard,
Annie St-Arneault, and Annie Turcotte are part of the city's collective
memory. "The repercussions and the impact of the event are like
an unending echo, a shock wave that reaches deep down into all strata
of society," writes Goulet in her project statement.
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