Rebecca Krinke's practice works across sculpture, interior installations, public art, site works, and social practice. She has exhibited her work indoors in gallery settings (including BV Gallery, Bristol, England, Black Box Theatre Gallery, Galway, Ireland, Experiential Gallery, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA) and outdoors (including Franconia Sculpture Park and Silverwood Park). Krinke often creates temporary, participatory projects, such as her Black Box Camera Obscura, Northrop Plaza, U of MN, What Needs to Be Said? installed in a vacant storefront in St. Paul and the Nash Gallery in Minneapolis, Flood Stories, commissioned by the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, and Unseen/Seen: The Mapping of Joy and Pain in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She recently completed a commission for the public art program in Sacramento, CA, called Augmented Broadway, an augmented reality project that explored a key street in that city.
My art began with a powerful dream I had - as an adult - about a bear. It inspired me to make a sculpture of a bearskin rug out of aluminum foil as a gift to a friend. This started my first body of sculpture (all of aluminum foil) where I explored themes of animal, wildness, dreams, and domesticity. This work was shown and awarded. I eventually went to art school to have access to facilities, expand my material range, enjoy a community of artists, and deepen my work. My art from graduate school culminated in a group of sculptures made primarily of pine needles that I installed as a temporary event in a pine forest. I called this work The Place to Share Beauty and Fear. This continues as an apt way to talk about my work, although I now often say, “I work in wonder and terror.” These seem to be the fundamental and paradoxical aspects of being alive.
Work and Process
My practice is a multidisciplinary one, working across sculpture, installations, public works, site art, and social practice -- creating spaces, objects, and encounters. I have used the body (animal, human) and aspects of domestic objects and architecture as vehicles for exploring both wonder and terror. My current series of work was inspired by a historic black four-poster bed that I saw in a Minneapolis Institute of Arts period room (and this period room is claimed by many to be haunted). There is much for me to mine here as an artist, and the bed also brings me back to the starting point of my art – a dream. My sculptures evoke a mood of darkly marvelous fairy tales where strange beds, rooms, and cottages in the dark woods abound. My material palette for this series includes found objects (beds), black feathers, straw, and notebooks.
A key aspect of my process/practice is writing, drawing, and collecting images in black bound notebooks – the same as I’ve kept since I was a teenager. The content of these notebooks are private, but they have recently appeared in the sculptures/installations as a material/conceptual presence. The notebooks are always tied shut, or kept behind screens or locks. They reference privacy, secrets, growth, and change. And as I have always had a vivid dream life, many dreams are recorded in these pages. As part of my Northern Spark 2015 commission, “dream collecting” became a public event. I invited festival-goers to write or draw a dream they have had and contribute it to a collective "dream book" that my team and I sewed together through the night. Almost 500 dreams were collected. All this took place at Minneapolis’ Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard – where I suspended a surreal bed sculpture high in the twisted girders of that historic space. I believe that there is power in this art that brings the privacy of bed, sleeping, and dreaming to a public space. This work and my larger practice is both highly personal and collective – as it asks questions into the domestic and the undomesticated, animal and human, struggle, growth, beauty, stress, trauma, coping - what is private and what is public, what is spoken or unspoken, seen or unseen.
Bed: haven, rest, sleep, recuperate, dream, privacy, intimacy, confined, fear of the dark, insomnia, sickbed, deathbed, feather bed, straw bed, garden bed, nest, liminal space, journey of consciousness.
Black Feather/Bird: flocks, mobbing, messenger, migration, magical powers, familiar/uncanny, divination.
Straw: animal bedding/fodder, floors, beds, clothing, targets, taxidermy, woven, thatched.
Notebook/Journal: written record of incidents, experiences, and ideas.