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barbara claussen

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silver islet

The Silver Islet project in Ontario, Canada, referenced how economics influences history. Now a picturesque summer vacation spot, Silver Islet was once the site of the richest offshore silver mine in the world. I erected a temporary kiosk in front of the old mining company store, currently a cafe and general store. I invited people to post comments about an issue that involved economics – the provincial government’s threat to remove the dock due to the high cost of renovation and maintenance.

Participants folded a sheet of translucent, dissolvable paper into a scow that they floated on Lake Superior from the Silver Islet dock. Economic facts about the history of Silver Islet printed on the paper took the form of a vessel once used in the mining operation. The disappearance of the boat symbolized the transience of history and memory. The poetic act acknowledged that the perception and recording of history encompasses more than empirical evidence.

 

 

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