→ Water Road
- Public Art
Outside the PHI Centre
407 Saint-Pierre St
Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2M3
Water Road is free. Reservations are not required.
Before visiting, please review some essential information about the visit, including details on accessibility at the Centre.
The PHI Centre building comes to life with an interactive multimedia installation of a motion-activated river on its four-story windows on Saint-Pierre Street.
A MOVING x ARTWORK
The facade transforms into an imaginary river of sound.
Tiohtià:ke means "where the currents meet," and the PHI Centre is located where the Saint-Pierre River once flowed. A river on the PHI Centre comes to life in a multimedia light installation visible from the windows overlooking St. Pierre Street. This river is the perfect personification of our common origins and our collective future. The installation is accompanied by an original poem by Joséphine Bacon and a soundtrack by Kelly Nunes.
THE POEM x By Joséphine Bacon
Akutueshtinaimuat nuash nutshimit
Nashipepanua nuash uinapekut
Peikuan at tsheshkatshuak
Tshitutainan anite tekuak nitipatshimunan
Nin au innu kapimishkat
Eukuan nana ka ishi-inniuiat
Kau tshetshi uapatamat
Our canoes advance
They climb you
They descend you towards the sea
We obey you
When you become untameable
We carry our canoes in our turn
we leave our wooden poles at the bottom of your soul
You baptize our nations
giving them your name
To be Human in your vein
Take us to the places of our history
Autumn will return
We’ll climb back up your current
It is our nostalgic past
That we dream of
Water Road, 2021
Designed by Sylvain Dumais and Phoebe Greenberg, produced by PHI Studio
Text (poem) by Joséphine Bacon
Sound Design by Kelly Nunes
Featuring artworks by
Joséphine Bacon is an Innu poet from Pessamit, born in 1947. A director and lyricist, she is considered a leading author in Quebec. She has worked as a translator-interpreter with the Elders, the holders of traditional knowledge, and has wisely learned to listen to their words. Joséphine Bacon often says of herself that she is not a poet, but that in her nomadic and generous heart, she speaks a language filled with poetry that echoes the elders who have marked her life. With Mémoire d'encrier, she wrote her first collection Bâtons à message/Tshissinuatshitakana (2009) with the nomads in love with the great outdoors in mind, and received the Readers' Choice Award at the Montreal Poetry Market in 2010 for her poem "Dessine-moi l'arbre". Also published by Mémoire d'encrier, in collaboration with José Acquelin, Nous sommes tous des sauvages (2011) and Un thé dans la toundra/Nipishapui nete mushuat (2013, Finalist for the Governor General's Award and Finalist for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal). Her most recent collection, Uiesh • Somewhere (2018), won her the 2019 Booksellers' Award.
With a background in film production, and classical orchestral string training, Kelly Nunes is a musical composer and multi disciplinary artist, whose practice focuses on responsive environments.
Nunes brings a holistic vision that blends multiple media forms to create powerful experiences that push the boundaries of perception and storytelling. He has a passion for driving innovative technologies at the intersection of architecture and scenography to service transformative, human centred environments.
He is mostly known for his monumental and orchestral public art project NEWT Miami, as well as his Celestial Cycle, a series of commissions for Montreal’s Never Apart Gallery, the Moon Room, Sun Room, and Earth Room, as well as The Black Hole Room in the private collection of Dax Dasilva.
Born in Toronto, Nunes is currently based in Montreal where he works on a project basis as a director for studios such as Moment Factory and Daily tous les jours studios.