Sunday, March 24, 2013


Last Friday, 
I noticed something... 
which brought me today to the 
St Brigide Church
or what's left of it... 
If this was once consecrated ground, 
it is no more, 
as the Vatican turned its back on this poor church...

Its bells had the loveliest chime; 
you wanted to get married to the sound of these. 
That's if you wanted to get married at all... 

Signs of neglect are obvious on the outside. 
It has marvelous details and yet, 
no one comes to its defense... 
St James was in a dire state, 
but it's shaping up now. 
I guess French Christians care not the least bit about their churches. 
Don't ask me!! 
As an atheist, 
why should I fight for its cause 
if I stand alone?!?... 
I believe those directly concerned should speak up, 
but it's too late now. 
Its parking lot now holds an apartment building, 
the presbytery is some kind of refuge or something, 
and the church itself, 
it's left to its own demise, 
but until it actually crumbles, 
it is to serve the community.

the facade shows signs of wear, 
its stairs are hazardous, 
the windows have seen better days 
and it doesn't bode well for what waits for me inside...

Truly sad to see this go to waste.

Its glory days are now far behind.

As I stepped in, 
I was greeted by gloom itself.

On the ceiling, 
the papal keys that once recognized this as an holy place, 
but no more...

Faded details.

A few things remain...

An angel that will never stare at the penitent ever again...

The sacrificial lamb?!?

possibly oblivious of what goes on around him.

Everything "sacred" has been ripped from the place...

When I first entered, 
I thought people had added recently all of these lights, 
but apparently not... 
It was part of the show!!! 
Kinda kitsch... 
in my opinion, 
of course!!

A vacancy, 
after someone ripped from the wall whatever was there... 
Let's hope they're taking good care of it!!

And then, 
there was this exhibit those gloves invited me to see, 
an exhibit by graduates of UQAM
(Universite du Quebec a Montreal), 
"Les Architectures des Possibles"
I must say that some integrated their art/installation well into the space, 
connecting to it one way or another. 
A few are a total "disconnect"... 
but those who were inspired by the church did quite well. 

Like this hooded figure... 
I had to check to make sure there was no one living underneath that hood 
that could have spooked me off... 
Nope, all safe!! 
This one is called "Rivale", 
by Isabelle Mathieu.

Francois-Matthieu Bouchard created this instalation 
called "Au Suivant" (NEXT!!), 
a series of huge balloons hung from the ceiling 
with a projector painting these over with various colors.

I like this one especially because the church's window is reflected on the balloon, 
connecting the two.

This may look like the morning after at my place when I have friends over for a drink... 
And if I am to conclude anything from what I see here, 
I'd bet the Antichrist will be a florist, 
with all of those roses upside down... 
How poetic!!

Part of the same concept as the picture above, 
by Katherine-Josee Gervais 
and called "Tout ce qu'il y a a faire", 
(All that needs to be done), 
is a very moody installation, 
except for a lack of a trail of blood...

A partial view of an installation by Chloé Poirier-Sauvé
called "Que reste-t-il?" (What's left?), 
two protagonists facing each other, 
each giving their point of view on their relationship gone sour... 
Funny/interesting concept.

I then left the building!! 
Much like God did, 
But I'm glad of my visit!! 
I finally got to see what St Brigide looks like inside, 
even if it's only a shadow of its former glory. 
And I got to see some art by some new artists. 
Some seem promising. 
perhaps not... 
But who am I to say?!? 


  1. Your photographs have this wonderful feel about them at the moment - gothic meets technicolour.

    1. Since I am still exploring to find my style,
      I allow myself to experiment with various ideas, textures and filters.
      And some topics, like this one, call for a little drama...

  2. I think you'd have to be there to appreciate the modern artwork, though I know it can work in some settings like churches and cathedrals, but in some ways I prefer your shots of the faded grandeur of the church itself.

    1. You and me both!!
      It can be difficult to grasp certain concepts,
      but there were a few that interested me nonetheless.
      Modern Art stretches the limits of what constitutes Art itself...

  3. First off...spectacular photos Bruno! Nice work! Now why don't you, sir, have some of your work in that church? Just sayin'....
    Now to the blatant irony in this post. Here is this beautiful old church being left by the wayside by a church that is so out of touch with reality. It doesn't even see the 'value' and the meaning of such a building to a community, so what does it do but ignore and sell it, just like it always has done.....ignore its followers' wishes to move ahead and learn to thrive in the 21st century.
    Phew! Being an ex-rc I have always wished the church would be different. But like any other 'business' POWER and control takes over and is blinding.
    I really liked you approach Bruno to this, very mature and considerate.
    Thanks for stopping by today, much appreciated.

    1. Always a pleasure to stop by your place, you know that!!
      What motivated the decision to let go of this building,
      I am not privy to that. But I find it sad.
      If the city decides to invest, perhaps it will prolong its life,
      otherwise... well... I suspect it will eventually be deemed as dangerous.
      Already its front steps are a hazard...

  4. In Holland a lot of churches are not in use anymore by their original religious owners. To avoid vacancy they are converted into museums or housing units, or just demolished. I looked at your St. James posts; I'm glad they removed the commercials buildings in front of the church façade, especially the large neon sign was hideous.

    1. As an atheist, I look at this from a certain distance,
      but I can only observe the decline of this institution
      when one building after another is abandoned like that.
      The stonework at St Brigide needs much repairs
      before it causes major structural damages, und so forth...
      I witnessed the destruction of the Holy Savior a few years back,
      but they kept and numbered the pieces of the steeple,
      to later integrate it in the new building, a major hospital project.
      St James has a great story.
      I grew up knowing it with its commercial facade,
      and the day I saw it for the first time finally revealed,
      its beauty touched me.
      I recently passed by and there are still some scaffolding
      as repairs are always needed, but at least, they're tending to it.
      That's a relief to see some of the city's heritage being preserved.
      I have no qualms about seeing a church repurposed,
      but then, I expect it to be brought back for its state of neglect
      and maintained properly, not let go like that.
      I find that insulting!!
      I guess if it was privately owned, it might fare better...

  5. I can relate to wanting to save old buildings, including those who previous owners would like to see me consigned to hell. Your photos are wonderful.

    1. Well, I suspect those who want to send us to hell may have just r.s.v.p. themselves
      a room of their own in hell for doing so...
      I'm just saying...
      As for those buildings, they reflect a part of our collective history,
      whether one worships a deity, or not...
      But I find it funny/odd that "I" should be more concerned about it
      than those who should. No?!?


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