On “Inside Out”

"The Unbearable Lightness of Being," 2014, concrete, styrofoam, foam sill gasket, Sonotube and steel, 90 x 72 x 195 cm.

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” 2014, concrete, styrofoam, foam sill gasket, Sonotube and steel, 90 x 72 x 195 cm.

This project began when I found a large, hollow Styrofoam cylinder near a construction site. I was perplexed by the size of the object, as well as some of its internal intricacies, and was curious about what it initially contained, but could not visualize an object that would fill the cylinder. I realized the disjuncture between the perception of surface area and the prediction of volume, so I decided that I wanted to cast the positive form from the negative mold. I used concrete, because its weight contrasts the lightness of Styrofoam; emphasizing that something tangible and permanent has come from something that was used and discarded.

I presented both the negative and the positive of the cast together, stacked in a way that partially hides the negative, so that viewers are left with only the implication that the positive would fill the mold. A person of normal height, however, cannot experience the relationship between the concrete and the foam. I like that this provokes imagined spaces in the unseen negative. This project relates to my recent work because it comes back to the phenomenological thesis that understanding is experiential. The work illustrates that conceptions of the hypothetical positive within the negative could never be accurate unless manifested physically, and experienced dimensionally.

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