Plateaux, 2020 Monde polaire, 2020 Horizon, 2021 Mirador, 2021 Temps long, 2020
Clara Lacasse’s photographic eye was drawn to the scaffolding, drop-sheets and bags of cement that comprise the setting of a major technical renovation undertaken over two years at the Montréal Biodôme. The uncanny simulacra of New World ecosystems typically on display, from tropical forests to arctic glaciers, are seen no longer as mere backdrops when their typical inhabitants are housed elsewhere temporarily. At once a stage for surveillance and an eco-friendly cage, this “Space for Life” is the result of scientific scrutiny, a precondition for the spectatorship of a public keenly aware of the Sixth Mass Extinction, one of the swiftest ever seen on Earth.
Once the site of the 1976 Olympic Games velodrome, the Biodôme’s transformation is a complex miasma akin to the Anthropocene itself, our current era of nature-culture hybridity. The museum is revealed by Lacasse’s lens as a layered instrument for rewriting what the Animal and the Living mean scientifically and politically within and without an environment.