Contrition: A Metamorphic Installation
National IDEC Conference
New Orleans, Louisiana
Contrition is one in a series of site-specific installations inspired by a landfill near the Murano glass works in Venice, Italy. Everywhere slag glass rocks and broken art objects resurfaced amid newly-planted groundcover. The series symbolically addresses the after-life through metaphors closely related to more temporal concerns of recycling, sustaining and protecting the environment.
Contrition is simultaneously an interior and exterior installation. Housed within a 150sf … glass cube protruding from a hotel’s entrance façade; it’s an installation you cannot enter; an event experienced by moving about, by looking into, up, down, around and through. The cube faces due south and changes dramatically throughout the day and into the night, when lit internally with LED lights. The physical cube merges into the installation, elevating it above mere display window status. Storefront mullions frame the composition. Positive and inverse photomurals cover clerestory windows facing in and out, sandwiching and melding the cube’s glass into the composition….
Technology made fabrication of this installation possible. All drawing and photo files were filtered through or created in Photoshop and AutoCAD. Digital photos were printed on canvas, back-lit film, or photo-paper on a wide-format printer. Acrylic objects were engraved and cut by a laser; and the MDF … [was] cut on a CNC router. Not everything was automated: 60 fishing lines with 120 hooks were measured and crimped by hand; hundreds of plastic parts were pinned together manually; MDF structures were rounded with hand-held routers; and numerous bolts, acorn nuts and fender washers were screwed into place individually. Under the nervous, wary eyes of on-lookers, the artist stacked the central column of spirally-arrayed bottles slightly askew in a precarious metaphor for imperfection. Finally, empty soul-less bottles were scattered across the floor as the artist backed out of the installation and locked the doors.