Liz Magor, talking about the work Still Alive
Polymerized gypsum, deerskin jacket
48.5 × 85.7 × 26.7 cm
Freybe Collection, Vancouver
Still Alive is made in the same period as the Good Shepherd and Membership, so that process of that, the form I look for that will become the sculptural form is the cardboard box. Process of making it is the same as those where I pour the casting material into the cardboard box and the box is the mould. Then I peel the box, the cardboard, away and I have this cast. And then I have to look for the object or the thing from life or from the world that will go with it. In this case I’ve made something to hold it onto the cardboard box so I’ve cast a glove. The object itself is an embroidered deerskin jacket that was made by a grandmother of a friend of mine; she’s a Dane-zaa woman from Northern B.C. The jacket is damaged. I don’t know where the damage came from. It’s exactly, it’s positioned… Everything about it is exactly as I received it. My friend tried to donate it to the Museum of Anthropology, because it is significant and it’s an authentic thing, but it was too damaged for them to accept it. So he gave it to me and I said the only place for it is in an artwork. So I didn’t alter it at all, I just put it in a context where it could stay alive for the rest of forever… hopefully. So it was nearly garbage and then it goes into the higher status of art that protects things for a long time.