On “Poetics of Space,” 2014

This work began simply, with an interest in the power that lines have to falsely imply spatial designations. I wanted to make a work that tempts the viewer to divide a space, and overlook its singularity in doing so. But my interests developed as I began to bring the space together, and led to some much bigger questions that moved away from the phenomenon of the line, and towards the phenomenon of the void.

In this work I decided to break with the white cube presentation of art in a way that retained the 4-white-wall motif, but radicalized the way it is encountered. I didn’t want the work to ask that my audience pay attention to any detail, or try to contextualize it with a title, caption, or prescribed interest. This work permits viewers to experience it as they wish, without the ideas of an artist or conventions of the gallery imposed on them. The doorway functions almost symbolically as an exit from memory and previous understandings of space (and art), to a new world of experience. I wanted this installation to change the act of looking into a dynamic and ongoing pursuit, which would enhance the role of the viewer in the artwork. It makes visual the infinite possibility of perceptual shifts, with no correct vantage point or alignment of lines.

In what verges on relational aesthetics, I aim to remind us that the artist, the viewer, and the environment are interchangeably involved in the work: and, in fact, collectively constitute it. The installation is not self-sufficient: rather, it is an environment that would not be complete without the viewer. The “artwork” is not the installation, but the controlled invoking of sensory reactions in pre-conscious viewership. As Merleau-Ponty poetically professes, “the world is not what I think, but what I live through,” and this work is meant to champion the experiential importance of installation art over the conceptual thinking that much other work demands. It is to serve the noble and democratic cause of invoking aesthetic phenomena, and little more.

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