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Adieu (2005)

A Public Art Project/Installation, Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary, Canada.

Adieu was a public art piece created for the Ruberto Ostberg Gallery that brought community members together to question what emotional baggage we were ready to jettison. Though enacted through a very hands on, 'analogue' execution, the project also placed an evaluative lens on the discourses of social media, at this time still a relatively new introduction. Adieu offered the opportunity to declare some of our most intimate disclosures and vulnerabilities to generate public dialogue. Contrasting the 'natural,' seasonal cycle of loss and renewal against the always accumulating, always archiving Internet, our public baggage was left to weather and erode before being destroyed at the end of the project allowing for closure and catharsis. 

Autumn is a time of transition, a time of leaving, letting go and moving on. If you had the opportunity to reach inside and rip out that emotional baggage what would you want to say goodbye to… forever?

Adieu provided this opportunity for community in northwest Calgary while challenging them to become art producers themselves. Fluxus inspired craft kits and drop boxes were located at several locations where members of the public could produce cards dedicated to the things they need to leave behind. They were given free reign; there were no restrictions.

Over two hundred cards were collected throughout a one-month period which were installed on a metal mesh sculpture that spiraled up in front of the Ruberto Ostberg Gallery. Each card was photographed and put online for others to explore and comment on and the physical pillar of cards remained on display, exposed to the elements for four months. Their degradation over this time was photographed and posted online. At the end of the four months, with the start of a new year the cards were set alight and destroyed closing the evolution of the piece.

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