By Brad Simm
More than 140 framed photographs of flowers cover a wall inside the Glenbow approximately 10 feet high and 30 feet wide. Some of the flowers are fresh, in full bloom; others wilting, fading away. Toronto-based artist Ed Pien’s Our Beloved installation is a dramatic explosion of colour and variety that screams beauty, vibrance and life at large. It not only resonates with life, but also loss and sadness.
During the reign of Chilean dictator Augusta Pinochet an estimated 3,000 alleged political dissidents were murdered and another 1,000 went missing between 1973 and 1990.
While travelling in Santiago, Chile, Pien visited Patio 29, the mass gravesite where many of the victims are buried, now decorated with an overflowing sea of flowers honouring their past and bravery. Moved by both the tradgey and the vibrant display, Pien took 144 photographs and constructed his own monument tapping into the complex, haunting emotions that linger with the horrors of genocide.
Our Beloved runs until Sept. 22 at the Glenbow MuseumGlenbow Museum