The Sunday Magazine

Your Burden - Her Art - a documentary by Alisa Siegel

Alisa Siegel's documentary is called "Objects of Burden."
Port de tête, 2009 (Raphaëlle de Groot)

Raphaëlle de Groot is a collector. 

A collector of other people's burdens.

In 2009, the award-winning Montreal-based visual artist embarked on a new project. She travelled to cities and towns - in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Italy - put up notices on hydro poles, and public bulletin boards. She invited people to donate objects that were full of meaning, that they couldn't just throw out, but no longer wanted.  

In short, objects of burden.

In return, De Groot promised to take on each burden as her own. She promised to breathe new life into the objects, turn them into art. And the response was overwhelming.

People dug deep, into the souls of their closets, the depths of their basements, the darkness of their attics, and handed over pieces of their former selves.  And they wrote and told stories to go with them.

Raphaëlle de Groot has turned them into performance art, still photography, video, and gallery installations.

Now, to her surprise, the pieces have taken on an animated life of their own.

Alisa Siegel's documentary this morning is called Objects of Burden.



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