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TAKE WHAT YOU CAN by Monika Hauck

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

" ‘Take What You Can’ is a collection of photographs that document the items that were left behind by my grandmother when she emigrated back to Poland in 2012 after living in Canada for 25 years. These possessions were staged in the centre of Old Quebec Street Mall where passersby were encouraged to rifle through them and take anything that could be of use to them. This collection of belongings serves as a conceptual portrait of my grandmother and the things that she valued during her life here in Canada. As she pared down her material possessions to make the move overseas the inherent value of these objects changed. This process of negotiating what to take and what to leave behind revealed itself as a meditation on the material value of objects in our lives and how they morph and change as we do. Additionally, it was also a meaningful way to distribute these objects, as well as the story of my grandmother, out into the community - as opposed to clinging to each item’s sentimentality or dumping them off at a donation centre where they will most likely end up in a landfill. New owners of these items also have an appreciation for how they were acquired, which imbues the object with significance beyond their function. The installation explored the subjective experience of a stranger’s possessions, narrative through objects and the boundaries that define public and private spheres of life."

Timelapse video of “Take What You Can” installation in 2012 can be seen by following the link on the QR code:

ABOUT THE ARTIST Monika Hauck is a multidisciplinary artist based in Guelph Ontario. She uses her foundation in painting, drawing, photography and sculpture to examine the state of change in the world around her, whether personal or public. Through questioning the habits of self and the habits of society she uses process based methods to present ideas in series or as collections to reveal our individual associations with the objects and spaces that surround our daily life. In 2015, Hauck co-founded VERSA, an audio/visual collective that performs instrumental music with responsive live visuals. This project has been the springboard for interdisciplinary projects in video, installation, digital media and live performance. Hauck graduated with distinction from the Studio Art Program at University of Guelph in 2012.

You can view the show in "The Walkway" located in Downtown Guelph. The show can be seen through the window of N/A Gallery at Necessary Arts Collective.

MARCH 28 TO APRIL 25 2021

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