Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Directions

Last week, I was graciously permitted a few hours alone in the Chandler Gallery. I spent it taking photos, messing with the lights and jotting down notes, trying to find ways to respond to a space that I will not be allowed to change in any way-- putting holes in the walls is not permitted, the use of adhesives is questionable, and anything hung from the ceiling must be less than 15 lbs. I then jetted off to balmy Boston for the weekend, taking along with me a mounting sense of panic at the task I had set myself.

But in considering my notes and looking at my pictures, I realized that significant opportunities lie in the architecture of the space; in its redundancies, points of connection, and openings. Cracks in the baseboards, chips in the paint, five stray nails resiliently clinging to the floor in a far corner like moss growing in the cracks of a city sidewalk. A group of 20 light switches on one wall, and 10 outlets spread out along the walls and columns.

Despite the general desire of curators the world over to cut off their white cubes from the realities of the outside world, we are given clues into the life of the Chandler Gallery and we are able to relate the gallery to other, more habitable spaces we encounter in everyday life.

For the last few days, I have been concentrating my efforts on creating slightly mutated outlets and plugs for installation into the space. This will be part of a larger installation encompassing the entire space. It will make use of the outlets already in the space, as well as adding around 50 more. Most of these outlets will be connected to one another via long cords (either black or white) that plug into both outlets. Some plugs will be unplugged, revealing both the altered plug and the altered outlet. Some of the altered found objects will be subtle, just different enough that their mass production seems possible. Others will be more obviously altered, as if the hardware has taken on a life of its own, evolving according to an ambiguous set of rules.

While this may seem to be a large departure from my previous ideas for my thesis show, I firmly believe that this is a more natural extension of my original idea to define, penetrate, expose and interrogate the boundaries of the body. I have consistently tried to bring a bodily aesthetic to my work, but in the last few weeks I have come to realize that the body is already present in the space. I don't need to bring the body to the work; the space IS the body.

We require predictibility from our spaces- a changlessness that we cannot find in our daily lives. when the spaces we inhabit fail to fulfill our demand for order, we are left faced with the harsh realities of the exterior world, whose lack of order is beyond our control.

No comments:

Post a Comment