An art installation for Montreal’s Place des Arts, Locomotive is a fantastical portrayal of a human machine.

The context resembles an elaborate organic dominos game. It begins with a musical impulse and is accompanied by an inexorable advancement of light.

Human flesh makes up a patchwork of glittering metallic members – which have the luster of new pistons and bolts – engendering a hybrid mass.

Caught in awkward tension, the bodies quiver in suspension, the movement becoming increasingly intense until released by the passing impulse.

The carefully synchronized three-dimensional chain reaction of image, sound and light dehumanizes the body while simultaneously makes us smile. Uncomfortable yet intrigued, the eye of the passer cannot turn away from the machine. The complexity of the work lies in its ambiguity of being funny, monstrous, and sensual all at the same time.

The totality of this intriguing puzzle is best seen by taking a step back. However, in order to observe and appreciate the detail of the movement, it is equally engaging to advance forward. Each gear, wheel and suture plays its role to tie the whole piece together.


Direction: Thibaut Duverneix

Conception: Thibaut Duverneix / Mathieu Léger

Artistic Direction: Mathieu Léger

Music: David Drury

Cinematographer: Christophe Colette

Production: Sach Baylin-Stern

Client: La Place Des Arts