Parcs Canada Lachine Canal National Historic Site Peel Basin Sector | Montreal, Quebec | 2011
In our gardens we tend to select certain aspects of nature and exclude others. We don’t want slugs in our gardens but they appear there anyway, no matter how hard we try to get rid of them. Nature as we’d like it to be is always overtaken by nature as it is. Slugs are part of nature's own cycle of decay and renewal. Even as they eat the garden, they are regenerating it. Until modern science, the sudden appearance of slugs was a sign of the mysterious creative power of nature. It was thought that insects like slugs and worms spontaneously generated out of the decay that they ate. Slugs, frogs, salamanders, and other creatures seemed to suddenly come to life out of putrid marshes and stagnant ponds. Death and decay were necessary for the resurgence of life.
The INFESTATION at the Lachine Canal was an appearance of a thousand slugs formed out of ceramic materials. As in the garden, their presence recognized the ambiguity of decay and renewal in the life of the city and responded to the current urban renewal projects underway in Griffintown. The community was invited to join in the installation of INFESTATION at the Peel Basin Sector of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site beginning at sunrise on September 17th. The community was invited to return on the afternoon of September 25th, before sunset, to join in the diffusion of the INFESTATION into the city by taking the slugs away with them.
Project undertaken with Parcs Canada and curated by Shauna Janssen of Urban Occupations Urbaines