Tel Quel / As Is Montréal Signs Project / Recent Acquisitions
The Montréal Signs Project started at Concordia University in 2010 when Matt Soar, a professor of Communication Studies, and Nancy Marrelli, archivist emerita, began saving old signs from around the city. Not just any old signs, but ones with local, cultural significance: Warshaw, Bens Restaurant, Monsieur Hot Dog, Monkland Taverne. The collection has since grown to around twenty signs, covering airports, butchers, bookstores, boots, bicycles, cinemas, news media, poutine, restaurants, and vacuum cleaners.
Every sign in the collection is imbued with a deep connection to Montreal's everyday past: the memories of those who grew up or have lived in their shadow or their glow. Each layer of wear, tear, and patina offers clues as to how and when the signs were made, why, and for whom. This exhibition is a rare opportunity to view several well-known signs recovered or donated in 2016, in more or less the condition they were in when we picked them up.