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Cinéma Moderne - Jardin du Passage - Nancy Guilmette
Photograph: Arseni Khamzin

This cinema has transformed itself into an indoor urban garden

It's called Jardin du Passage, a greenhouse-gallery inside of Montreal's own Cinéma Moderne

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

It's hard to say when movie theatres in Montreal and around the world will be opening for now, but until they do, why not use some of that space for some plant life? As Audrey Hepburn put it: "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."

At the dine-and-watch movie theatre Cinéma Moderne in Montreal, they're hosting an art installation entitled Jardin de Passage - Serie 2 from the artist Nancy Guilmette. Described as a "greenhouse-gallery" that uses seeds from near-extinct plant species, locals can view the living laboratory through the cinema's street-facing windows. Once the projects runs the course of the month of May, sprouted seedlings will be given out at a closing event on May 30.

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📷 @st.chocolat - 🌱🌱🌱 L’artiste @nancy.guilmette présente au Cinéma Moderne du 1er au 31 mai « Jardin de passage – Série 2 », une exposition explorant les liens intimes entre l’art, le design et la nature. Transposant le potager au Cinéma Moderne, l’artiste crée une installation vivante semblable à un laboratoire qui reproduit le cycle de la nature. La lumière donne à la végétation, comme au cinéma, sa vivacité. Le Cinéma Moderne s’illuminera de l’intérieur, comme si le projecteur endormi se réveillait d’un long sommeil. - 🌱🌱🌱 From May 1st to 31st, artist @nancy.guilmette presents at Cinéma Moderne "Jardin de passage - Série 2," an exhibition exploring the intimate relations between Art, Design and Nature. Transposing the vegetable garden to the Cinéma Moderne for this edition, the artist creates a living installation similar to a laboratory that reproduces the cycle of nature. Light gives the vegetation, like cinema, its vivacity. Cinéma Moderne will be illuminated from the inside, as if the sleeping projector was waking up from a long sleep. - As the vegetation takes back its rights, the films of the Cinéma Moderne can be found on its website. Go to to discover the programming. #cinemamoderne #cinemamtl #plantes #projet #plants #botaniqueshop

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It's not your normal exhibition: Among the heated carpets, lighting, domes and thermometers, the artist performs the daily tasks of taking care of the seedlings in an orange jumpsuit from 6am to 11am, Monday to Friday, 6am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

As the movie theatre writes, the exhibit is designed to explore "the intimate relations between art, design and nature... Light gives the vegetation, like cinema, its vivacity. Cinéma Moderne will be illuminated from the inside, as if the sleeping projector was waking up from a long sleep." This is the second of three planned exhibitions, with the next location undetermined for the time being.

It's new and innovative projects like this that can give spaces a new life since being forced to close down, giving a space like Cinéma Moderne a breath of life in uncertain times. Videos of the space in action can viewed on the artist's website here.

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