tenuous was an ongoing installation during which I created a paper cast of a full size pick up truck. Everything from the production of the handmade paper, the application of the sheets, to the final removal was completed during seventeen days in July 2008.
I chose to use the truck as an icon for the culture and environment of Grande Prairie and Alberta in general. The final paper cast also functioned as a visual metaphor for the current fragility of our environment.
On the completion of the exhibition I took the paper truck onto a local road. The truck, without its supports, quickly collapsed. Caught by the wind it danced, it skittered, sometimes it flew. It broke apart during the course of the day, torn by the wind and abraded by the roughness of the land. The form became obscure and unrecognizable; all torn edges and fragments littering the ground.
Out of several hours of footage this “motion painting” was created. The video is layered, transparent and accentuates the ghostly and ephemeral nature of the paper.
During the making of tenuous the auto industry rumbles of trouble became more public with the closing of plants and layoffs. During the presentation of tenuous too, the dissolution continues and the video also becomes a metaphor for the industry itself.
The original title tenuous, according to the Mac dictionary 2007 means “thin and fine and so easily broken”. We remain fragile, ephemeral and “tenuous” in our existence.