Winter Garden, explores historical structures built for uprooting, possessing, and colonizing plants from around the world. When illuminated using hand-held lights, the constructions’ shadowy underbellies are revealed.
First built in 19th century Europe, winter gardens were large-scale structures made from cast-iron and plate glass to house collections of exotic foliage. These indoor gardens produced a fantasy bubble in which desirable tropical climates could be re-created within Europe, serving as a testament to the power and wealth of those with the means to possess them.
By drawing on the colonial origins of winter gardens, Mere Phantoms connect contemporary migration, displacement and housing struggles with a historical lineage of systemic dispossession of plants, animals, and humans. Where is the line between a desire to belong and a desire to possess? Who is granted the privilege of access to a home, and on what terms? In Winter Garden, Mere Phantoms uses the delicacy of paper to reflect on the crude politics of spaces built to house living things.
Presented by Hamilton Artist Inc. Hamilton, Ontario March 30 - May 11 2019
Photo Credit : Ahmet Boyanci