Art Curation - Artists Management - Production Management
In celebrating entomophilia, the love, respect and appreciation of insects, the Insectarium | Montréal Space for Life launched a campaign to educate and inspire people to be part of the solution in preserving insect biodiversity. Looking to create engaging activations to educate and inspire, the Insectarium turned to MASSIVart. Our multidisciplinary team curated, designed and produced four creative activations throughout Montréal, delivering impactful and engaging art-driven experiences for the public.
The first activation involved delivering an eye-catching two-scale experience right in front of the Insectarium. MASSIVart undertook the creative direction, artist curation, management of the production and installation of the activation.
For the micro scale, Mini-Scenes from Daily Life were created in collaboration with Alexis Johnston Benamou. Eight artworks featured humorous interpretations of the natural behaviours of the pollinating insects from the garden. Visitors were invited to explore the garden, bending down to admire the 6-inch diameter miniature creatures on the ground or through the flowers.
For the macro scale, BZZZZZZZ! was created in collaboration with Castor & Pollux. The immersive and participative installation is a giant flower that puts humans on the same scale as pollinating insects. The challenge was creating a large art installation without having a big ecological footprint – as a result, the whole installation was made with reused local wood that would have been disposed of otherwise. This installation also raises awareness about the principles of pollination, inviting participants to play with pollen balls and move them from stamens to pistils like pollinating insects.
The second activation focused on entomophilic gastronomy, the sustainable food practice of dining on edible insects. Practiced regularly by nearly two billion people around the world, it is much more common than one might think—the activation intended to help the public discover entomophilia through the lens of food.
The Insectarium hosted an Entomomiam kiosk in the Le Central food court in downtown Montreal. There, the public was invited to enjoy a buggy bite to eat created by renowned chef Daniel Véniza, in collaboration with local producers. Chef Véniza and local partner producers presented a range of ways to integrate entomophilic dishes and wanted to promote their Enomomiam Box, and the pop-up activation was an opportunity to launch the box in a creative and impactful way. Some of the dishes included a tapenade with mealworms and shortbread with pecans, crickets and linden honey.
MASSIVart’s team delivered multiple aspects of the Insectarium’s Entomomiam experience, including the creative direction, curation and management, as well as the production and installation of the kiosk. Arousing public curiosity, this unique and playful experience allowed visitors to discover and raise awareness about integrating bugs into their diet. MASSIVart designed and integrated educational interactions to discover more about how sustainable and nutritious entomophilic cuisine is. An audio capsule through a QR code was created with Chef Véniza so visitors could learn more about his creative process. Lastly, an entomophilic recipe was included so participants could bring this unique cushion into their home cooking.
Both pop-up installations have elevated the attractiveness and identity of the new insectarium while helping to convey awareness through great storytelling opportunities. MASSIVart is proud to have contributed to this memorable, meaningful and purposeful experience that empowered the local and emerging creative community.
Artists: Alexis Johnston Benamou & Castor & Pollux
Photos: Michael Abril