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The Possible, 2014

The Possible is a creative collaboration with a protected, postindusrial landscape in Montreal called Le Champ des possibles (the “field of possibilities”). With the help of artist Camille Bédard, urban curator Shauna Janssen, urban naturalist Roger Latour, and architect Itai Peleg, I created an installation for gallery Studio XX in Montreal, on display between 11-19 December 2014.

Bing aerial view of le Champ des possibles.

In October 2014 the Canadian-Pacific Railway Company entered the protected terrain, and bulldozed a section of Le Champ, thus destroying over a decade of self-seeding and human care. Now a substantial portion of Le Champ lies barren, toxic soil once more brought to the surface.

Le Possible is a three-part art project that reflects upon but also responds to the special characteristics of this “friche urbaine.” In the weeks that followed CP’s action, my collaborators and I gathered 45 specimens from the part of Le Champ that was spared. Working with the expertise of Roger Latour, an expert on the biodiversity of this landscape, we chose plants that are known to contribute to the vital mix of flora, insect, and fauna in le Champ.

Seedlings from le Champ des possibles, November 2014. Photograph by Cynthia Hammond.

 

Specimens from le Champ des possibles, December 2014. Photograph by Cynthia Hammond

 

 

Visitors to this exhibition will find these little plants on display in the gallery. They are invited to take a plant home, care for it over the winter, and join us in le Champ des possibles in May 2015 for a public planting event. At that time, we will return these plants to their home, contribute to the re-greening of the bulldozed section, while collectively participating in an action that helps make visible this important landscape within Montreal’s urban life and sustainability.

Photograph of le Champ des possibles, November 2014, by Shauna Janssen

With thanks to curators Erandy Vergara-Vargas and Mark Clintberg.

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