Smoking Relics, 2006
Cigarette butts, glass carboys, facial tissue, resin exhale
La Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
Adviser: Carla Whiteside
An every day activity, such as smoking, transforms into religious-like, meaningful procession - no matter how banal it may seem. The objects presented in Smoking Relics become signifiers and markers of time; whether expressed through the daily accumulation of cigarette butts, or the growing collection of exhale smoke on tissue, or even the bottled mass of cigarette smoke.
The materials and objects saved are transient in nature and considered end-products of an action or a process. Cigarette butts, considered dirty and disposable, hold a reminding truth of the previously enjoyed action. Time becomes acute when trying to quit, counting the days since the previous time of the preformed smoking ritual. When the refuse is seen in quantity, calculation of assumed time is present in a shameful tone. The yellowed exhales on tissue function similarly, pointing to the transformation that occurs inside the body and highlighting life's impermanence.