Terraria Gigantica examines the world’s largest “glasshouses” that allow the creation of a landscape that would otherwise be impossible in that particular climate. These giant high-tech terrariums draw from a rich lineage of public conservatories cultivating the exotic. They also serve as large-scale laboratories for research on plants, animals, complex ecosystems and the effects of climate change.
While these spaces are often crowded with visitors, my experience is more solitary as my attention veers away from the carefully constructed exhibits and educational materials and into the corners and edges of the biomes — where façades crumble or illusion fades. In these liminal spaces, the natural and artificial elements often collide, overlap, bleed together and become indistinguishable.
Small details lead to big questions about what it means to create and contain landscapes and whether they supplement or replace experiences on the outside. Under the glass, I frame images and ideas, ponder the distinctions between natural and artificial, and examine the evolving “nature” of nature.
— Dana Fritz