CONNECTIONS and [dis]CONNECTIONS: Site-Specific Art Installations Exploring, Celebrating and Challenging Our Views of Vertical Passages
International Journal of Arts and Sciences Conference Budapest, Hungary 2018
Abstract: Steps, stairs, stoops, stairways, stairwells, escalators and elevators provide vertical circulation indoors and out, but they are more than pathways. Stairways add events to our journeys, moments in our passages. They give us places to pause, lookout, interact, meet, cuddle, whisper and shout. Stairways are social spaces.
The author presents two of his recent art installations. Both explore connections and expectations occurring while we view, approach and experience stairs, stairways and escalators. The first, “Connecting: Stairways to ...,” is a 121 square meter solo installation in a community art center. The second "[dis]CONNECTIONS," is a 37 square meter installation in an art festival featuring artists from 12 U.S. states. Although quite different from each other, these installations have commonalities. Both include photo galleries captured on three continents. Both include structures reminiscent of steles, each with two-meter tall images superimposing abstracted images looking down into stairwells with unexpected objects at the base, like an image based on a spiral staircase leading to polluted canals, another to a landfill outside the Murano Glass Works, and a third filled with trash cans from St. Mark’s Square. The reverse of each stele presents surrealistic colorations of the first, providing psychedelic glimpses into the unknown.