The action of the science fiction film Quintet (Robert Altman, 1979) takes place during a nuclear winter. The sets are barren and post technological: a snowscape punctuated by derelict modern architecture and frozen machinery. Quintet was shot in the remains of the pavilions of the 1967 Montréal World's Exposition as well as in the territory of Nunavut, Canada. Altman uses the (nuclear) winter setting of Quintet – the expanses of white snow, the ice-encased structures, and the fogginess produced by condensation in the cold – to construct a diegesis that exists beyond our understanding of time and space.
This project maps the locations in the old Expo 67 site that were used in the film, investigating how the representation of the international, modern architecture and design of the Expo pavilions could shift from signifying promise and potential for social betterment to becoming an index of technological catastrophe and social decay. It considers how the architecture of Expo 67 – both as a site of technological spectacle and as an impromptu film set – has disappeared, looking for what is left of these sites and mapping this process of looking.
The map has three layers: islands shows the islands Notre-Dame and Sainte-Hélène as they were experienced when visited in the fall of 2011; diegesis is a map of the fictional, post-apocalyptic city where the action of the film Quintet takes place; terre des hommes is a map of Man and his World, the themed site of Expo 67.