In August, my work was included in the 2011 Summer Festival for the Wassaic Project. My contribution was an outdoor piece that materialized during my participation in the Wassaic Project fall residency program. Prior to the residency, I inherited 15 full sheets of 5/8” plywood following the deinstall of a friends’ sculpture. I Impulsively glued all 15 sheets together. Shortly after that I received a letter from my landlord explaining that she would be unable to renew my lease. I panicked. Days before my departure to Wassaic I now had to expedite the process of breaking up the hulking wooden mass into manageable pieces. After dulling two chain saws, I determined that using a Sawzall with Lenox Gold brand blades was the only possible way to break up the hefty slab. A story began to unfold from the eviction (the way my plans are typically formulated). Accumulation is repetition equating to process. Planar materials such as foam were sandwiched in between the ply reflecting computer generated terrain. Layering became a geological reference as materials were pressed together to accumulate into stratified mass. One may experience these layers as a survey of the passage of time.
The narrative structure surrounding this project became demonic possession, particularly the story of Annaleis Michel. What would Michel’s conviction consist of if transmuted into matter. If we could share the sum of her personal experience in a more tangible realm what shape would such a form take? Michel’s health declined as she believed that her body became possessed by several unnamed damned souls along with Nero, Hitler, Cain and a disgraced Frankish Priest from the 16th Century. Michel’s exorcism sessions lasted up to 10 months, her family had given up on psychiatric treatments. The autopsy reports state that she died of malnutrition and dehydration. Reportedly, the ligaments in Annaliese Michel’s knees ruptured due to obsessively performing her genuflexians during exorcisms. The word Genuflect was important for it’s sound, it’s shape and it’s meaning. A drawing depicting a Lenox brand box cutter co-opted it’s wolf branding as spirit animal guide. The image of the cross emerges from the shape of the letter X from the written word Genuflex. The X transforms into a cross as it projects itself horizontally outward. An interior cavity articulated within the foam and wood resembles a kind of floating geyser.
Annalies Abyss is a sculpture from a residency completed last year but it’s themes resonate with my current work. I am still sifting through it’s contents, mining it for the potential within the implication of form and concept. The project description and my being evicted from my studio space can be read as an artist statement.