MARIE SOMMER: Cryptozoïque

Intervention as part of CHANTIER

A project by Jean-François Prost with collaborators, presented by Skol.


April 5th – May 20th, 2023

Finissage – May 20th at 6 pm ∗ (cancelled in case of rain)

On the vacant lot at 6919 Marconi St.


Programming of the Finissage:

  • Meet the artist
  • Projection at 7:30 pm: Excavations & artificial spaces 

          – A series of videos chosen and presented by Marie Sommer and Lisa Tronca;
          – This projection is the first in a series on the theme of the construction sites
             and urban diversity.


Project description

While the type of billboard used for CHANTIER often serves to promote construction projects, Marie Sommer’s intervention presents a photograph of a dessert landscape.

“The title, taken from paleontology, refers to the era in which living beings consisted of microbes and algae. The project announced by the display is an empty space in which the human has either not yet arrived or has left the scene, and whose rough terrain recalls the land hidden behind the billboard. Like the lot itself, which contains plants and ruined structures, the poster foretells destruction, origins in the making.”

— Marie Sommer



CHANTIER is an artistic, political and social investigation of the conceptualization and creation of a large display device situated on a vacant lot at 6919 Marconi in Montréal. For more than a year, this proposed structure will serve as a support for the realization of a series of collaborative, artistic and civic interventions.

6919 Marconi, starting point of the CHANTIER project, is located in a hybrid urban zone (residential, industrial and commercial) along a train line. For many years now, Prost individually and collectively initiated on this 1 800 ft2 lot different types of occupations, such as workshops, projections, launches and urban camping. Today, many city dwellers are challenged and drawn to this vacant lot as a space-time of stopping, slowing down and spontaneity in an era of acceleration and increased control.

Unlike entertained-animated spaces that are overly programmed and codified, as we know nowadays, the vacant lot stays wide open for imagination (without dictating how we behave, move and travel). According to the theoretician Benjamin Delmotte, this allows “multiple never-ending beginnings.”

For the CHANTIER project, Jean-François Prost will initiate an intervention offering a support on which other individuals can act and contribute to define its character and specificity in transformation. This participation and (co)definition process suggests an eventual negotiation about the land, which is vital for democracy. As the urbanist Jane Jacobs said : “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

The proposed actions will explore the theme of the vanished, existing and prospective urban diversity, as well as the vagueness of the place, and the unfinished aspect of the construction site as a vector for co-defining the city.

It is in this spirit that the CHANTIER project is being developed. More news will follow soon about the planned actions.

Discover the program HERE


We thank FEED for the design of the Adaptive Actions (AA) font and Nathalie LeBlanc for her contribution as an audio consultant.

Description /image credit: Marie Sommer’s intervention. Photo: Jean-François Prost