Extended Family, site specific installation, November 2019
Materials inform so much of my practice as an artist; I carefully curate and savor each material for what it brings to the work. For installation the work is also informed by the location, and created from it. Gaston Bachelard says that, “all really inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of home.” Although people lived here (As assisted living or a nursing home, the history is vague.) I didn’t feel the essence Bachelard speaks of. It felt unlived in. Empty. Migratory. The railings and glass blocks that were stored in this room I installed to mimic the hollow, transitional feeling the space already emits.
The mystery of the people who lived here led me to visit my antique photograph collection. I’ve collected these photographs for years, picking them up at estate sales and antique stores. I cherish them and the memories they hold for each person in them. I can’t help but invent narratives about each one: a series of photographs from a trip out west, young men in suits for a formal dance, a couple on their wedding day, or a box with kittens nursing from their mother. Each one is as meaningful to me as they were to their original owner. Yet I always wonder how they ended up in my care. Who would give them up? The history of these photographs mirrors the history of this place, and they exist together.