As the wheel turns, a switch is triggered and a photocopy of a photograph is taken off a stack and dropped into an aluminum basket. The basket revolves slowly clockwise around the vertical eight foot mechanically driven wheel, which bears a design in metal filigree, representing the shapes of two snakes on the verge of swallowing each others tails (a double Oroborous).
When it reaches the other side, the photograph is dumped out into a small firebox with a heating element stretched across it. As it bursts into flames, the ashes fall into the fire pit and the smoke is sucked up and vented out of the exhibition space. The wheel continues revolving back towards the stack to retrieve the next photograph, and so on, each complete revolution taking about 5 minutes to complete.
The photograph is of the artist’s deceased father. Soon after he passed away, all of his belongings and personal papers were destroyed. One of the few remaining images of him is this photograph.
This work was made possible by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council.
- Steel, aluminum, photocopies, printer, motor, gear, chain, fan, heating element, brick, exhaust.
- 10 x 10 x 8 feet