Intersections: Places, General Regulations, and Memories, Mount Saint Vincent, Halifax 1998

Commissioned by MSVU Art Gallery for the 125th anniversary of Mount Saint Vincent.
Eight post-mounted markers permanently installed on the campus of Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax.
medium of each marker: ¼ inch aluminum oval with screen-printed photographic image and 2 texts, 1½ inch square aluminum post, concrete footing 3 feet deep, metal base plate and bolts.
dimensions of each marker: 22 x 29 inch oval on post 25 inches high (56 x 74 x 64 cm)
collection: Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax.

This is a series of eight markers installed on the campus of what is now Mount Saint Vincent University, formerly Mount Saint Vincent Academy, founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia by the Sisters of Charity 125 years ago.

The markers present two kinds of text superimposed over black & white photographic images. Each marker includes an excerpt from one of the Mount's official publications—either an early Academy prospectus or the current University calendar (the General Regulations in the title), intersecting with a quote (the Memories) from a conversation I had with a present-day student at the University or one of the elderly Sisters of Charity who were once students or teachers at the Academy. I took the photographs of the locations (the Places) referred to in their anecdotes during 1997-98. The markers are installed in relation to these same locations (for example: beside a parking lot—formerly the site of the rhubarb patch; at the entrance to the campus near the train tracks along the shore—the former sea-bathing spot, etc.) In this way, the institutional voice intersects with the first-person memories, and both of these intersect with images of the locations—which, of course, will continue to change and offer a visual comparison to what is (and will be) there.

The markers were fabricated by an industrial sign-manufacturer from my specifications. They are oval in shape and look subtly different from historical plaques; and the information and images on the markers do not refer to the kinds of monumental places and events usually commemorated in such plaques. Instead, they are meant to evoke some of the particularities of individual experience that either contrast or correspond—yet always intersect—with the larger social and cultural context that penetrates life and shifts over time.

Marlene Creates, 1998