A proposal for a museum of the present


A curatorial proposal by Rebecca Duclos and David K. Ross

proposed the temporary conversion of the University of Waterloo's Art Gallery into a self-storage facility housing objects and artifacts belonging to 50 University of Waterloo co-op students.

Each of Depot’s participating students would be issued a standard shipping pallet upon which to assemble their possessions. The pallets—loaded with things not needed or wanted while the students are in other cities on work terms—would be shrink-wrapped and stored within the gallery space. All wrapped pallets were to be available for public viewing by gallery-goers as hybrid “readymades” existing somewhere between works of art and collected anthropological specimens.


The gallery’s office and gallery space—located at the edge of the University of Waterloo campus in a single story, steel-frame building—has never been an architectural wonder. Formerly used to store surplus university furniture and classroom materials, it still boasts utility rather than beauty. Through a profoundly pedestrian act, Depot was to temporarily revert the building’s gallery space back into a storage facility, providing a service for students and, in the process, engage the politics and economics of keeping.


Each of Depot's participating self-storers were to be seen as project collaborators who would work with gallery staff to inventory their personal “collections” and prepare their objects for safe-keeping.