Born in Zurich (Switzerland), Catherine Bodmer lives and works in Montreal since 1996. She has a bachelor's degree in fine arts education from Lucerne School of Art and Design as well as a master's degree in visual arts from Université du Québec à Montréal. Starting from a documentary approach to photography, she treats chosen places as variable arrangements through an often repetitive and performative approach. Her work has been exhibited in several individual and group exhibitions as Les paradis de Granby (3e impérial, 2015), Camellones (Centre Sagamie, 2012), Casas (Optica, 2012) and Exposant deux (Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe, 2014). Catherine Bodmer worked as a training and professional development coordinator at the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ) for seven years (2013-2020) before becoming its general Director in July 2020.
During several stays and residencies in Mexico City, Catherine Bodmer has produced a vast photographic documentation focusing on urban environment's green spaces of Mexico, such as parks, playgrounds and public gardens. Starting from images that expose plant market lush kiosks in the Viveros de Coyoacán, the artist continues her research around the garden theme as a manifestation of the quest for an ideal world, a utopia.—As a microcosm, the garden carries with it paradise image, the perfect place. Thus, Viveros plant market, a cooperative of around thirty small family businesses frequented mainly by bourgeois clientele becomes for the artist a place of questioning where divergent realities and perceptions are intertwined. With Synonymes exhibition, Catherine Bodmer seeks to circumscribe the market both as a concrete and symbolic place by revisiting it again and again, trying to capture its nuances, to extract its essence. In this photographic installation, the multiplication and superposition of textures, colors, words and texts evoke not only a multi-sensory and immersive experience of the place but also the social charge that it contains. Here, the bourgeois and colonialist ideology of the garden, the virtuoso staging of an idealized nature, collides with the realities and the socio-economic precariousness of the merchants and the staff who work there.