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He Used to Teach Me Things

Pierre Öberg, 1994


  • Mixed Media


Pierre Öberg


Wood, prairie grass, found objects


Mixed media



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Pierre Öberg collects the debris left behind by those who flee from one life to another. The artist refers to these discarded objects as “biographical bits,” remnants that provide clues to often sudden and sometimes desperate departures. Having left behind his upbringing on a farm in eastern Alberta, Öberg’s assemblages aim to make sense of what has happened to other rural refugees like himself. Resembling the vitrine work of artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, He Used to Teach Me Things invokes the damaging footprints left on a fragile ecosystem. As an exploration of universal issues from a distinctly rural perspective, Öberg creates a psychologically charged narrative that enables viewers to see the countryside in a non-idyllic light.