Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kendaia -- Skins, Topographies, and Horizons

Kendaia is a site.  Pascal is quoted as saying, "Nature is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose limits are nowhere."  Robert Smithson sees the world similarly, as a kind of unedited text, remote, without logos, and undefined.  I am fascinated by Kendaia for a number of reasons, but primarily because it is undefined in this sense.   On the other hand, like an archeologist, I performed a visual mining at the site, where I have collected, through the use of photography, images that are the skins of experience.  Robert Smithson, too, selected materials from the sites to create his non-sites, which represent a focused articulation of part of the actual site.  In the same way, I choose to articulate some specific elements through the idea of skins, topology, and horizons. Each skin-form rematerializes the aspects of the site to give meaning to the sense of place. 

Below are three projects I have recently finished.  "Skins" is a family of columnar paper constructions of photographs from Kendaia.  Each image is a xerox on large paper saturated with pigmented encaustic.  They are translucent, fragile, and entirely contingent on one another for support and visual impact.  Each image shows the ground littered with leaves, branches, stems, and debris, tossed from car windows or left there by passersby. 

The second series are Skin Topographies, paper painted on both sides, folded, and curled matrices saturated with clear wax, which are hung as low reliefs from the wall.  These give expression to an alphabet of forms that individually show presence, and appear together as an alphabet of forms like a visual sentence about Kendaia.  They are the photographic reconfiguration of the horizon, then reconstructed in Photoshop to reflect the same horizon as its mirrored image.  Each topographic form has both horizons.  The picture plane is rematerialized into embodied forms as part of another language.

Finally, the last piece is a compilation of views, the same series of stills of the horizon at Kendaia, but juxtaposed and arranged sequentially.  The horizon is again mirrored in each still.  The scroll, then, was immersed in clear wax, and a red thread was sewn along the two horizon lines -- in honor of the Two Row Wampum of the Haudenosaunee. The scroll is self-standing, translucent, reflective, and in the round.