Trous de mémoire

In the heart of Montreal’s gay village, as Sainte-Catherine turns into one of North America’s largest pedestrian arteries, public art events are held every year as part of the Airs Libres program. During the 2013 edition, studio Paprika surpassed itself with the interactive installation “Trous de mémoire” which has collected several honorary mentions, making a lasting impression and still leaving its mark.


Société de développement commercial du Village

Architects / Designers

Louis Gagnon, Paprika


Interactive installation


Large scale printed light boxes

Imagine six large luminous boxes on which it is possible to distinguish illustrations and words constructed from perspective. The viewer can even see through the installation thanks to a series of holes. Each one is free to walk between the panels, to cross them, to sit there to better contemplate the various facets of the work and the panoply of symbols to be discovered. This is Trous de mémoire.

A magnificent project, but of a certain complexity when thinking about its conception. Our challenge was to create printed boxes that can be admired day and night and that are strong enough to resist the windy conditions of the corner as well as the weight of the public who would take a break sitting in the holes. The layout and installation of each element required great precision and technical know-how.

Visual took care of the project’s technical development, judiciously selecting the materials, the printing process and the lighting technique in order to achieve an exceptional output. Moreover, we calculated the required distance to perceive the text and the drawings at certain angles. Our experts have developed a backlight from the inside of the screens that activates once the sun sets and gives an almost magical effect to the artwork. The integrated diffuse light source offers a quality display with interesting contrasts and good legibility in the dark.

This project, which was to be exposed only two years, was so popular that it has marvelled the Amherst Park passers-by for four consecutive years. We reuse the structure and simply change the coverings for a new concept of images and enigmas. The cases age very well, which confirms their solidity.