The Sunday Edition

Raphaëlle de Groot transforms objects of burden into art

Raphaëlle de Groot has travelled the world collecting other people's burdens - objects that are full of meaning, but are no longer wanted.
Port de tête, 2009 (Raphaëlle de Groot)
Listen22:30

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, and 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 that they 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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      Alisa Siegel's documentary "Objects of Burden", was first broadcast on the Sunday Edition in March. An installation by Raphaëlle de Groot called The Summit Meetings, consisting primarily of her Burden of Objects project, will be shown at the Art Gallery of Windsor from October 3, to January 17, 2016.

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