Memento (If These Walls Could Talk). 2006.
Installation: Glyndor Gallery at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY.
Gouache and archival ink jet prints on Japanese gampi paper, acrylic and latex paint, wood.
Invited to develop an installation addressing the theme of "survival," I focused on the history of the Glyndor Gallery building and its environment to create a site-specific work emphasizing the importance of memory to our existence. My goal was to mark the history of the site, to render it visible to the viewer and, by doing so, to locate the viewer in the present moment as part of the dynamic continuum linking past and future.
After researching the history of the site as a private estate and, then, public garden from the mid 1800's to the present, I became interested in the Chinese wisteria vine that surrounds the building today -- a plant that is over 100 years old and has survived three reconstructions. I painted life-size silhouettes of the vine directly onto the gallery walls and attached gouache paintings of wisteria seed pods throughout the space. I embedded texts into the walls, suggesting simultaneous frames for perceiving the history of the place: these referenced the personal, cultural, biological, and geological.
I was interested in establishing a sense of time and history as comprised of interwoven "events" as the texts, shifting in tones from light to dark grey evoked a series of whispering "voices" emerging from the walls, encouraging viewers to make connections between the current environment and its history.