RatKind and Poppies, Observatoire Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec, 2020

RatKind & Poppies was an immersive installation of works at the Summit Observatoire Place Ville Marie: a satellite exhibition with the contemporary art festival Art Souterrain 2020 - RESET. The exhibition combines prints from my 2005 series "Poppies" with sculptures and video from my 2018 series "RatKind." "Poppies" employs the symbolism of loss and regeneration as a counterpoint to "RatKind" which dwells on the need for social change in order to face the climatic crisis. RatKind acts as a metaphor for a humanity that has brought its greatest phobias into the light to face and overcome them in a re-imagined future.

Press Release

RatKind and Poppies
Photography and video, 2019

In her series RatKind, Bonnie Baxter asks the viewer to project themselves into a utopian/dystopian future where a community of humanoid rats have supplanted human beings.

Her presentation encourages us to overcome our fear and hatred of the rat, a feeling of dread that is deeply rooted in our subconscious, and therefore move beyond our preconceived notions and prejudices. The physical proximity of rats to humans and our shared social behaviours make them a mirror image of our own existence.

RatKind presents itself as an antidote to growing inequality, human rights issues and today’s environmental crisis.

Within the theme of the emergence of a community that managed to survive a human-induced ecological disaster, students, artists and members of marginalized communities, as models and actors, imagine a society based on empathy and respect for all living creatures independently of their level of sensitivity or of their culture, including a feeling of goodwill towards nature.

The majority of this series’ items were created in the artist’s spectacular gardens at her home in Val-David.

Curator : Marie Perrault