Public Artwork

Wish you were here³

Laurel Woodcock, Wish you were here³, 2004
Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, 358 Gordon Street, Guelph, ON, N1G 1Y1, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Woodcock, Laurel
Text author(s): 
Woodcock, Laurel
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

No specific location for the performance. The location relates to the exhibition of the research documents and the "remains" of the performance.

Text of the artwork: 


Artwork theme: 

Language and signs as means of communication, social relationships


Play / pause / repeat, Macdonald Stewart Art Center, Guelph, January 15-February 29, 2004.


The work consists of an installation and video in three parts:

Wish You Were Here³, YYZ Gallery, September 8-October 23, 2004, Toronto

Wish You Were Here, as part of the "At The Corner of Time and Place" theme, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2007, Toronto

New version of the work (gobo projector, balloons filled with helium)

For the play / pause / repeat exhibition, Woodcock created a series of three new works: Location Shoot (2003), A favorite film for each letter of the alphabet / A favorite film from each year since my birth (2003) and Wish You Were Here³ (2003).



One day, in October 2003 in Toronto, at the request of Laurel Woodcock, the Adler Aviation Company flew a plane pulling a banner on which the sentence "WISH YOU WERE HERE" was written.


On January 15, 2004, in Guelph, the event was repeated for thirty minutes at the opening of the artist's exhibition at the Macdonald Stewart Art Center.


The three videos presented were Location shoot, A favorite film from each letter of the alphabet / a favorite film from each year since my birth and a document about the flight with the banner (3:30 min).


"The phrase is familiar as that abused by generations of souvenir postcards. Once meant as a wholehearted invocation to the friend or family member who could not travel along to an exotic location, it has become hollow and empty, often used with sardonic intent."


source: Kathie Bethune-Leamen, "Once more, with feeling," in Play / pause / repeat, p. 24-25


Wish you were here³

Woodcock, Laurel (2008).  Wish you were here³. <> : Laurel Woodcock webpage

Laurel Woodcock : play / pause / repeat

Marriott, John, Katie Bethune-Leaman (2004).  Laurel Woodcock : play / pause / repeat. Guelph : Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, p. 47