Jenny Lin  


"Maintenant Ouvert / Temporairement Fermé"



"Maintenant Ouvert / Temporairment Fermé"

February 25 - March 11, 2012. A collaboration with Shie Kasai (, this site-specific installation was part of Art Souterrain, Nuit Blanche, Montreal 2012.

A restaurant facade is installed on a door in a passageway of the underground city. The selected door is decorated with a restaurant logo and a banner above that reads "Now Open / Maintenant ouvert". On the wall is a menu. A note on the door reads "De retour dans 5 minutes / Back in 5 minutes" and the door remains locked.

The door might actually lead to a boiler room, storage, an office, etc. These doors tend to be closed and locked, usually in grey / beige, often unnoticed. We often pass by them but never have any opportunity to know what's really behind those doors. "Maintenant ouvert / Temporairement fermé" calls attention to an otherwise non-descript doorway, creating an expectation of what is behind it. Colourful flyers which read "Maintenant ouvert" will advertise and point out the direction to the "restaurant". These will be distributed throughout the underground city, adhered to the wall or floor, acting as familiar markers to viewers who notice them. When the viewer finally arrives at the location after following the flyers, the build up of expectation might result in a feeling of anti- climatic let-down and annoyance.

"Maintenant Ouvert / Temporairement Fermé" was inspired by a common experience of anticipating the opening of a new, intriguing neighbourhood restaurant, seemingly in its last days of construction before its grand opening…and yet each day you pass by, the restaurant is in the same state – about to open but never really making it there. Finally the mysterious restaurant closes down before you even had a chance to try it out. We were interested in this state of simultaneous stasis and possibility as well as the power that the promise of something "new" holds in building up curiosity and expectation. We have created an installation using digitally printed and found materials to create a convincingly realistic restaurant façade that might draw the attention of a casual passerby. Flyers with directions invite viewers to take a walk to the site only to discover that this "restaurant" is not exactly as advertised.

Our restaurant is now open! Follow the flyers along the path through the underground city to find us and enjoy our new and delicious specials! "Maintenant ouvert / Temporairement fermé" invites the viewer to wander towards our new location with the expectation of having a relaxing break and replenishing oneself.

Look for our Dolla-Ramen restaurant, located on the same level as the metro ticket booths, close to the entrance to Complexe des Ailes. There is a Carlton Cards store across from our installation. The artists will be present from 7- 9 pm on February 25, during which time there will be a performative component of the project.