Artist Viviane Le Courtois seeks Boulder flood relics for a new sculpture

The September flooding across the Front Range left lives tangled in its wake and victims struggling to recover their belongings -- a photograph here, a cell phone there, a doll washed away in a torrent. For Denver-based artist Viviane Le Courtois, such objects and mementos, however damaged, represent the spirit of recovery.

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Many of Le Courtois's works begin with a community-driven component -- items like junk mail or socks or tumbleweeds -- collected from friends and woven into installations. Now, inspired by Boulder's resilience in the face of devastating flooding, she's hoping to collect 100 small objects damaged in the rush of water, which will eventually wind up part of a boulder-shaped sculpture. Called Rescued Memories, the project was commissioned by the city of Boulder and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art as one of three planned temporary artist commemorations.

Here's Le Courtois's statement:

The project reflects on the material property losses that have occurred during the recent flood. It will transform individual losses into a collective process of recovery. Objects damaged during the flood will be collected and transformed into porcelain fossils before becoming part of the piece. From interactions and objects collected at a series of collecting events, I will create a boulder shaped sculpture and a book with photos and stories. The large sculpture goes with the city' s name, represents the destructive rock slides and reminds me of the enigmatic and ritualistic nature of the menhirs or standing stones found all over Brittany where I grew up.

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The artist will kick off a series of pop-up collection events where Boulderites can drop off personal items or just stop to chat at three locations on Sunday, November 3: the North Boulder Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to noon, the Boulder History Museum from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and the Boulder Public Library from 3 to 5 p.m.

Additional collection events follow on November 8 and 9 in Boulder, Longmont, Jamestown and Lyons. For more information, or if you have an object and/or a story about a lost object to contribute, e-mail Le Courtois or call 303-526-8064.

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