My current body of work investigates the processes of degradation and memory through a means of sculpture, performance and photography. This past year, I have documented the death of a family home, as it has gone through a slow process of being demolished over the past nine months, using analogue photography techniques. Through this body of work, I am able to use the language of sculpture and photography together, to speak about the preciousness of sacred space. Often we connect these special spaces, to memories of childhood or family, or even a specific person. The loss of a home can be closely related to the loosing of loved ones.
I make black and white photographs that portray a form, which resembles a blanket or a net, within a familial home. This structure is made of woven-links that are composed of steel staples, polyolefin and rubber paint. These utilitarian materials function as tools to secure, preserve and contain. The structure is made similarly to processes of weaving or knitting, which is often related to the domestic space. The form is covered in rubber paint, which acts as a protecting seal. The rubber paint prevents movement or corrosion. But as the structure is moved throughout the space it, it shifts the stiff structure, altering its original form. Though it is rigid, in the format of black and white photographs it appears soft or warm, as if it is the only thing alive within the space. The structure is placed within a home, that is also very rapidly losing its form. I am documenting the changes of both the structure and the home as it is slowly demolished throughout the duration of a summer. In this action I am speaking about degradation of physical space, the home, and also created space or memory, the structure. The structure is a physical manifestation of being that is moving or changing, resembling how one recalls a memory, shifting or altering it through recollection. Gaston Bachelard says in the book, The Poetics of Space, “We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”
These actions paired with the processes of analog photography create a documentation of the death of the home, in both a physical and metaphorical way. The photographs serve as the documenter, story-teller, observer, and memory beholder. Most of the photographs are shown on a small scale, creating curiosity as well as intimacy within the images. The range of value in the images are often limited to mid-tones or areas that are over-exposed. This also relates to the way one recalls things, often manipulating one’s perception by recollection.
I have fabricated a second larger structure, that resembles that same form as the first. I have placed it in the woods, near the home. This ritual’s purpose is to create a symbolic resting place for the structure, but it also marks the end of the time spent making this body of work. This second structure has been placed on dyed linen. This linen mimics the woven blanket-like qualities of the structure, but has much less resilience to the natural elements. This is an experiment with time and natural decomposition. The purpose of dying the fabric, is for the structure placed on top to leave its mark, causing the fabric to fade and possibly unravel, and the steel staples within the structure to rust over time. This work will also be documented until the following spring, a symbol of a time for rebirth.