Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In the end of July and early August, I assisted Adia Millet in the building of three installations for the Summer Studios project at Threewalls and the Sullivan Galleries at the Art Institute. For a week I was an interloper at the Sullivan Galleries after Adia invited me to fill one of the spaces she had been allocated with an installation that responded to her adjacent installation, "Blood, Sweat & Tears." For more information about this piece you can read Adia's entry about the Summer Studios on the Studio Chicago blog.
While working in the studio, our conversation kept returning to the issue of indeterminacy: what you can't see but know is there, and the limits of what you can ever really know, understand, or identify. There is a sense of uncertainty, ambiguity, potential that lingers in Adia's installation in which an old wooden chest sits beneath floating, irregularly shaped circular forms. A single light casts shadows against the gray walls multiplying these forms and making it nearly impossible to tell whether the rings are coming or going, filling the chest or emptying out. In an adjacent installation, I addressed similar ideas in different materials: a granite rock (not from Plymouth, but close) is tightly wrapped in paper ribbons opposite a pile of sand from Cape Cod that buries an unfurling cream-colored bow. These two objects have a reciprocal relationship in that the rock will eventually dissolve into sand and the sand will someday be compressed into stone. Casting shadows on the rock and the sand is a web of pearl-organ-blobs cut from plastic sheeting. Together they created a strange landscape of plastic, stone and paper that I plan to keep working with. Thanks to all who made this improvised project possible.
Posted by RGolden at 6:52 PM
Monday, August 09, 2010
Just recently completed an artist residency at the Harvard Forest near the Quabbin Reservoir in Western Mass. The residency was a time to talk with biologists and ecologists at the Harvard Forest about their research, understanding and view (quite literally how they see the forest). It was also an opportunity to look at the photographs in their archive of the damage that the 1938 Hurricane caused in the forest. I was interested in how scientists photograph the forest versus artists, are they looking for or looking at different aspects of the woods? Are scientists as interested in making a whole, unified image of the forest as a landscape photographer would be? As conversations evolved, the questions shifted more to how does the perception of the forest as ordered or disordered, balanced or imbalanced impact the images that artists or scientists make of the woods?
I was joined on this residency by Jeremy Lundquist, we collaborated on an installation in Fisher Museum at the Harvard Forest. The museum describes the changes that have taken place in the forests of New England over time through dioramas, photographs, and graphs. We worked with the documents that were already on display in the museum and within the conventions of display that existed in this natural history museum. Images of the project will be compiled into a book and posted on our website: http://www.drawnlots.com/
Posted by RGolden at 8:49 AM