Ruff

Carmel Boerner

Boerner_Carmel

grace + decay
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2019

18 x 14 x 6

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Photo credit: Tanya King Photography

Ruff subverts a historically potent symbol of status and wealth and questions what and who is precious. Once an accessory worn by the rich, this ruff is the Elizabethan ruff’s antithesis. Its almost 150 nitrile gloves and two disposable latex tourniquets are ubiquitous litter in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, ground zero for Canada’s opioid crisis. Pre-pandemic, nitrile gloves were considered essentially worthless, but during the pandemic, especially at its onset when they were scarce, their value rose. At first glance, Ruff appears to be fabric. One must look closer to discover that it was created from gloves worn by medical professionals, people who, throughout both the opioid crisis and pandemic, put their lives at risk to care for us. It raises the question of whose life is precious and worth saving. Who has access to life-saving equipment, and care? This piece forces us to confront the trauma and tragedy of both the opioid crisis and the pandemic. Challenging the expectations of

Bio
Carmel Boerner, whose work has been exhibited in Canada, the US and Europe, creates in a studio in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As an eternal student and lover of a deadline, Carmel is inspired by exhibition calls and thrives on conducting research and exploring new materials and techniques, creating a piece around a concept.

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