In the last few months of adjusting to the pandemic, I’ve focused on work that has developed from an intergenerational dialogue with Mary Miss that I began in 2018. Talking with Miss in her studio has inspired me to steward some of the seeds that she planted as a sculptor in the 1970s. I am guided by her priorities: “Breathing space, human scale, and first-hand experience.” Sculpture has the ability to give back and empower these fundamental rights.
Miss’ early sculptures have inspired me to get out of the studio and work directly on site. I have been focused on reimaging one sculpture in particular, Portable Window, that Miss made in 1968. The sculpture is essentially a big plywood wheel with handles and a rectangular window in the center that frames a view. I have made a few variations out of reclaimed wood that I roll around my neighborhood, and as we moved into quarantine, a few smaller versions that I roll around my house.
AREA CODE gives me the opportunity to engage rolling the sculpture in the Boston community at large. Generating conversations, happenings, and videos from these rolls opens up several platforms to listen and learn in an unprecedented time of pandemic anxiety and cultural upheaval. The videos are an extension of the sculpture and capture what the sculpture is, in a sense, framing. This slow flipping is how I feel right now. Observing calm, and even beautiful in moments, but then seamlessly moving to disorienting and dizzy, a rupturing of the frame. Uncertainty. Framing space usually helps to formalize composition, but these videos frame in order to destabilize and disorient. The landscape tilts and turns. What is once familiar is flipped and ruptured. Sculpture has agency to both engage our surroundings and to heal our collective body.
I will activate Portable Window several times during the month of August; please see the calendar for details.