Your Lupines or Your Life

Bliz-aard Ball Sale thumbnail
snow ball workshop thumbnail
ready to sell thumbnail
snow ball sale thumbnail
Exper­i­ment in refram­ing value thumbnail
packaged gum thumbnail
aiweiwei thumbnail
found posters thumbnail
found king thumbnail
burnt playing card thumbnail
found knot thumbnail
arranging with sarah thumbnail
deconstruction thumbnail
flower sorting thumbnail
wreathmaking thumbnail
arranging thumbnail
the list thumbnail
ribbon reels thumbnail
hannah and ribbon thumbnail
photoshoot thumbnail
bouquet 1 thumbnail
bouquet 2 thumbnail
bouquet 3 thumbnail
crowd control thumbnail
Bliz-aard Ball Sale
snow ball workshop
ready to sell
snow ball sale
Exper­i­ment in refram­ing value
packaged gum
found posters
found king
burnt playing card
found knot
arranging with sarah
flower sorting
the list
ribbon reels
hannah and ribbon
bouquet 1
bouquet 2
bouquet 3
crowd control

Show­ing David Ham­mons’ “Bliz-aard Ball Sale” (1983) to the group.

Res­i­dent snow­ball expert leads a work­shop on how to achieve a per­fect, round, even snowball

Ready to try our own snow­ball sale

Mak­ing a sale

Exper­i­ment in refram­ing value

The group dis­cusses Ai Weiwei’s “Drop­ping a Han Dynasty Urn” (1995)

Mak­ing our own found posters, inspired by artist Ker­ri Reid’s “The Miss­ing Piece of the Puz­zle” (2008–2009)

Funer­al arrange­ment deconstruction

Sort­ing the flowers

Recon­struct­ing the funer­al arrangements

Your Lupines or your Life was an eight-week engage­ment between a grade 6 class­room and artists Han­nah Jick­ling and Helen Reed. The project takes its name from a 1974 Mon­ty Python sketch about Den­nis Moore, an inept high­way rob­ber who, with his catch­phrase “your lupines or your life,” steals lupine flow­ers from the nobil­i­ty to redis­trib­ute to the poor of his village.

This sketch became a touch­stone for our think­ing through val­ue and the ways in which it can shift and change. Through a var­ied inves­ti­ga­tion that incor­po­rat­ed field trips, dis­cus­sions, slide shows and exer­cis­es, we explored ideas of sup­ply and demand, intrin­sic val­ue, rel­a­tiv­i­ty of val­ue and surplus.

On a neigh­bor­hood resource audit we came across an unex­pect­ed site of sur­plus: a funer­al home. The funer­al home direc­tor told us that even though cut flow­ers are con­sid­ered essen­tial offer­ings to many funer­al ser­vices, after the funer­al many of these arrange­ments are dis­card­ed due to their somber appearance.

Dis­cus­sions of flow­ers and val­ue also led us to con­sid­er per­ma­nence and imper­ma­nence. Cut flow­ers have a life of no longer than 5 or 6 days. From the moment that they are har­vest­ed, an intri­cate sys­tem springs into action to deliv­er this expir­ing car­go to their des­ti­na­tion. Through fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion of the econ­o­my of flow­ers we learned about the Sem­per Augus­tus tulip bulb that, dur­ing Holland’s 17th cen­tu­ry spec­u­la­tive mar­ket­place, was worth the equiv­a­lent of one year’s wages for a wealthy merchant.

As a final project, we acquired some sur­plus flo­ral arrange­ments from funer­al homes, and with the help of local florist, Sarah Nixon, recon­fig­ured these arrange­ments into wreaths and bou­quets. These arrange­ments became “Abject Awards,” that were then bestowed to a pub­lic place or thing in recog­ni­tion of its under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed abject qualities.