Jean-Pierre Chupin denounces the confusion between online surveys and project competitions in an open letter relayed by La Presse, TVA and Kollectif

“Survey versus Competition: Simulacrum and Democracy” – Open letter co-signed by Jean-Pierre Chupin and Jacques White about the cancellation of the competition for the National Memorial to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan.

When it comes to judging art or architecture projects, an online survey is a “mockery of democracy” that can’t replace either a design competition or a real jury! Strongly condemning Russian-organized elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently declared loud and clear that these procedures constituted a “sham election”. By cancelling the result of a competition for a veterans’ monument, and replacing it with an online poll, his government has strayed dangerously into a travesty of democracy that we must now reflect on in order to better react and, above all, prevent from happening again.

First of all, the art, architecture and design communities have been incensed since the announcement, on June 19, of the cancellation of the results of the competition for the commemorative monument to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. This frustration seems all the more legitimate given that the jury’s choice was overturned solely on the basis of an online survey that was conducive to all kinds of confusion. Claiming to want to give veterans a voice – an honourable thing if ever there was one – the federal government has discredited the jury’s decision in a design competition, sacrificing in the process a fundamental principle of our democracy: respect for a qualitative collective judgement by a representative, impartial and informed jury…

Read more on the Kollectif website

In the press:

See the article on TVA nouvelles, by Anne-Caroline Desplanques
See the article on Radio Canada, by Erik Chouinard
See the article in La Presse

See editorial in Canadian Architect by Elsa Lam