Looking at the City of Ottawa from Ten Paces Outside the Municipal Boundaries,
Ottawa Pre-Amalgamation 2000

Originally commissioned by Gallery 101 for the gallery’s 20th anniversary book.
medium: 10 azo dye (cibachrome) photographic prints
dimensions: each photograph 13¼ inches high x 19½ inches wide (33.7 x 49.5 cm)
installed dimensions: 2 rows of 5 photographs
collection: The Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa

In the year 2000, just before the city of Ottawa amalgamated the surrounding areas, I went along all the roads that crossed the city’s boundaries as they then existed. I found ten spots on the city’s borders where signs had been installed marking the city limits. There were different kinds of signs with different population numbers: 324 thousand; 780 thousand; and one million.

At that time, everything behind these signs was part of the city of Ottawa, and everything in front of them was outside the city’s jurisdiction. I photographed each of the signs from ten paces away — ten paces, that is, outside the municipal boundaries — and looked toward the city. Together these signs make visible some of the geopolitical limits of the city of Ottawa in the year 2000.

Marlene Creates, 2004