This spring, BioLaber Miri Chekhanovich is an artist-in-residence at Quai 5160 — Maison de la Culture Verdun. During her 3-week residency, Miri is exploring bioplastics, spring revelations, human failure, urban malfunction, and the cyclicality of water. She is interested in the poetry of using agar-based bioplastics to cast cracks and holes in the streets of her neighbourhood.
“The end of March into the beginning of April is a time when water moves faster on the surface of the streets and seeps deeper into the ground. Temperatures rise during the day, the soil thaws in the light, and then freezes again at night. During the slow end of winter and approaching spring is when things start to reveal themselves beneath the layers of snow.”
As part of her creative process, Miri is creating an installation that combines sculptural objects, photographs, and a written journal documenting the ‘nids-de-poules‘ — or potholes — of Verdun.
As Miri explains “these holes hold great mystery that is revealed through my process of casting them into a three-dimensional form. They communicate a story of water, geology, human history, and everyday street events. What does it mean to know a place through its holes, through the negative spaces?“
At the end of March, Miri gave a workshop introducing young students from the neighbourhood to the textures and materiality of the bioplastics she uses in her work. The students from L’école des Saules-Rieurs learned about the ingredients involved in making bioplastic and had the opportunity to create clay moulds and cast their own shapes.
If you are in Verdun this week, stop by and visit her! There will be an exhibition from April 30th until the end of June. To find out more about Miri’s work and process, visit her Instagram page and website.
Cover image by Paul Litherland