This project is a continuation of the idea behind the "utopia" project. The final form occurred in two stages; the first form was a sculpture which was simply a room that could not be entered. The room is 7'x7'x7', freestanding, and constructed of very light wood frames. The framing is fully covered in long sheets of plain white paper. The only way to see into this room is through one glass cube found on one of the walls. The cube is made of glass that is warped. The room is empty inside, except for a layer of paper that covers the floor within the walls. This work is meant to be an experience; on its first presentation, it was somewhat a social experiment. The purpose is to examine the possibility of creating a desire where before there was none. When the room sculpture is approached, the first thought is "how do I get in?". Once it is realized that it is not possible to get in - at least, not without tearing the paper and destroying the piece - the viewer has to contend with the realization that they wanted and expected to be able to get in, and even knowing that there is nothing inside, no secret. The fact that the walls are made only of paper is important, because it emphasizes the fact that the room is a psychological symbol, not a physical barrier. The piece occurs in the viewers mind, and the piece is meant to create and illustrate desire itself. This piece is titled the place where the sky slips behind the edge of the hill.
There is a second iteration of the idea behind this work. The second piece is similar in manner of function, the way that it functions physically, speaking of hiding and showing, of contrasting inside and outside. But it is not about creating and examining desire. The premise of this piece is also a simple formula: to sew a large fur into an amorphic form approximately the size and weight of a cat, and fill it with glass marbles. It arose from wanting to create a piece that was the opposite of the room piece. The fur piece was created in order to be specifically interactive; it is meant to be held in the arms and against the body.
It became obvious that these two pieces, although seemingly very different or even opposites, would work very well if displayed together in the same room. In the final version of installation, the two pieces work together as one experience, and inform each other by their interaction. The viewer is meant to pick up the fur object, and is instructed to do so by the sign on the floor, next to the fur object.
The sign reads:
could you please pick me up and walk me around the room one more time?
It is implied that the fur object is the one making the request. The "room" refers to the paper room, which is obvious in the installation. The cognitive understanding of the installation, at this point, is disrupted by the very physical experience of holding the fur. It is a strange object, difficult to describe. The fur is real rabbit fur, and the marbles inside move around making the whole object slippery and difficult to hold onto. The reactions to the fur object are that it feels both alive and dead; the weight of it feels like the weight of a dead body, yet feels as though it is trying to get away because the glass marbles make it move in unpredictable ways. It conjures a feeling of empathy, in the way it is making a request of the viewer, asking to be carried. The fur and the room together give the viewer a feeling of futility. The room can't be entered, and the "one more time" in the request places it in an endless loop.
These two simple physical sculptures seem to freeze time in a moment that is usually lost. The moment when one first realizes one desires something, and the moment of letting go, or of doing something for the last time. The two pieces are quite open ended, yet conjure similar feelings for many viewers.