Traditional art genres are defined by specific mediums such as oils, ceramic and metal. Installation art assembles three-dimensional materials in direct relationship with the exhibition space in which it exists. Installations transform a specific space into an immersive experience. My artistic intent for ‘What Is / What If’ was to create an installation to explore individual perception and its impact on social construction.
At the center of ‘What Is / What If’ hangs Synaptic Plasticity, a representation of neural adaptively and social interconnectivity. On one side of the neural structure are considerations of conflict, loss, intolerance and violence (i.e. Crosshairs; Last Rites and Fuck It All); and, on the other: beauty, mirth and imagination (i.e. Imagine Play, Imagine Song and Imagine Peace). In sum, the installation is a space for examining how intractable conflicts can dominate our daily lives and how imagination might cause that focus to shift.
In Billy Collins poem The Afterlife, he considers our destination after death – what if:
Everyone is right, as it turns out.
you go to the place you always thought you would go,
the place you kept lit in an alcove in your head.
'What Is / What If' considers that our waking lives also may be constructed in relation to the ideas we keep alive – the violence we nurture, the horrors we can’t ignore and the dreams in which we dare to believe.
Synaptic Plasticity (2015) Plasma-cut welded steel, LED, pigment, stain and patina.
Crosshairs (2015) Etched glass, acrylic, solder, paper, copper and steel
Last Rites (2015) Welded steel, copper wire, last rights box, candles, coins, bullets, fossil, condoms, oil, paper, acrylic, and patina.
Fuck It All (2015) Glass, enamel, acrylic, solder, paper, suede, enamel, found objects, sealing wax, syringe and tubing, vodka, toe tag.
Imagine Song (2008) Welded copper, wood, glazed porcelain with copper wire, bird's nest spun with copper wire, eggshell fragments, dried botanicals, pitch pipe, watch jewels, watch mainspring, watch escape wheel, music box, sterling perfume funnels, copper springs and tubing, carbon microphone parts, acrylic, waxes and patina.
Imagine Play (2007) - Welded copper, wood, solder, welded steel table, chair and books, torch cut swing and copper chain link, nursery card, plastic dog, school compass with pencil, copper tubing and tassel, millinery glass leaves on torch turned copper wire, silk, acrylic, waxes, dyes and patina.
Imagine Peace (2009) - Welded torch turned copper box, brass corners, wood dowels, torch-cut steel box, speaker diaphragm, magic lantern chromatrope slide, LED's, hammered copper tags, twine, solder, doll arms, copper wire, sewn fabric and pigment dyed lace, welded steel cart, torch curled steel fragments, acrylic, dyes, waxes and patina.
* Photo credit to Kevin Gerien (fineartamerica.com/profiles/kevin-gerien.html)
* ‘What Is / What If’ was exhibited at R&D Studios, Brooklyn (www.rdstudiosbrooklyn.com) - R&D Studioshosts a diverse range of visual, musical and performance artists in monthly avant-garde salons. ‘What Is / What If’ was viewed alongside performances by the talented boundary-pushing ensemble, Warp Trio (www.warptrio.com) and contemporary dance company the People Movers (www.peoplemoversdance.com).