In Grottos | Nelle Grotte
In Grottos (Nelle Grotte) deconstructs the relationships we take for granted between knowledge, identity, perception and materiality.
In Fellini’s Roma (1972) a group of subway construction workers and a film crew unwittingly expose a long-buried Roman villa. The discoverers find themselves literally face to face with elaborate frescos of Romans long since dead. Unseen for 2000 years the frescos immediately decompose before the eyes of their last witnesses. In Plato’s Republic, we are unknowingly imprisoned in a cave. We have come to know the world by observing its shadows on our wall, naming this shadow this and that shadow that and stringing together the story of their interactions. We are, at once, both inside and outside the cave: the cave is a custodian of knowledge that destroys itself as fast as we can apprehend it; the cave is a container for our perceived knowing of the world from which we are always separated.
Developed in residency at the SabinArti Associazione Culturale in Casaprota, Italy, In Grottos is a mixed-media installation that lays bare our assumptions of an "objective reality" that can only be accessed through the mediation of the senses, language, and memory. The audience finds themselves in a dark foreign space initially only inhabited by the ghosts or shadows of things. As their eyes and other senses adjust to the space they discover they are in a cave constructed entirely with the material objects of the images that float before them. Both the audience and the images become contained within the materiality of the structure.
In Grottos activates the entire range of senses from sight and sound to smell and proprioception to locate the audience in an entirely genuine, but equally entirely fabricated experience. Each audience member, by implication of their presence, is forced to re-author their experience through the problematic filters of perception, language, and memory. The boundaries of "objects versus things" and "reality versus perception" move in and out of clarity and obfuscation.
Special thanks to Luc Bouchard, Susanna Emili, Renato Vivaldi, Marlena Vera, Emily Burnham, SabinArti Associazione Culturale for their production assistance and support.
Consider the Book | Considerate il libro
Video Installation on table
Consider the Book is likewise concerned with the question of materiality. The piece consists of a poem which, true to its title, considers the object of the book firstly from the perspective of its various physical properties and forms, and then, more profoundly, in terms of an object that connects experience across time. The poem is read, in this instance having been translated into Italian, and matched with a video of an antique table being cleaned and polished. The footage is straight forward and matter of fact. There is a visual concentration on touch, texture, and tactility, all modes of perception that through each physical act ground us all in place and space while both reaffirming and challenging the truth of time.
Consider the Book
Most often rectangular in shape
The book is also found
Or irregular forms.
Media and materials range
Paper or Parchment
Bound between two covers
Bindings either simple or adorned
Covers deeply etched
Inked with pigmentation
Words and pictures or their potential
Fall across the page
Bestowed by distant hands
The book connects us with other times
Not only through words
For our consumption
The object itself ruptures time and space
It sits before us
Taken for granted
But through the book we are not alone
This object ties us
To the lives of others
This first fast reciprocal action
This communal moment
Sharing the same space
This very instant provokes all time
The life of the book
Inhales its long breath
Consider this book
As it is perceived
All those who have encountered this book
Burst into being
Unified across time
The eyes that first imagined its form
Hands moulding its shape
The crispness of the page
We are all bound by this encounter
Real against our touch
Fingers become entwined