Opening:

October 7, 2021  6-9 pm

Tickets

Gallery view from left
Gallery view from left

Photographer: Constance Mensh

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Vitrine with Cupola & Tiny Movie Theater
Vitrine with Cupola & Tiny Movie Theater

Photographer: Constance Mensh

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Fractured Reflections (detail)
Fractured Reflections (detail)

Photographer: Haigen Pearson

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Gallery view from left
Gallery view from left

Photographer: Constance Mensh

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My heart beats faster as I climb the stairs from the creek to the house. Turning away from the river, I enter the house. It is all so dazzling and precious. Up I go towards the stained-glass skylight, pausing on the landings to catch my breath. Up I go to the top of the grand staircase and then on the ladder into a cramped octagonal attic space. A shorter ladder leads to a tiny door. Hunched over, my final steps take me out to the roof. I spin around to surveil the full extent of the estate. It fills me with joy and desire. I feel it with my entire body: my breath settles, my heartbeat slows, my eyes blink in the bright sunlight, my skin cools from the breeze, my erect body stretches out and up.

 

Four detailed ceramic installations in a pair of historic vitrines present “An Archive of Desire.” Recreating various scenes, they offer a story about the house's history from various points of view.

 

Cupola recreates the roof and room which originally topped the mansion.

 

Tiny Movie Theater (in the cabinet below) offers a cluster of chairs facing a screen showing the rooftop sunrise on loop.

 

Remnants includes five macquettes:

Servant's Stair

Cupola Base with Ladder

Vitrines

Model of Fractured/Reflections

Pink Bathroom.

 

Night Garden (in the cabinet below) recreates the river stairs from the Poquessing Creek, along with a garden and riverbed, illuminated by the moon and stars.

 

The four scenes are cyclical and related: dawn to dusk, top to bottom, riverbed to rooftop, childhood to old age, newly made to decay, hope to despair, simplicity to complexity.

 

The work is written in the language of clay: from the most refined cone 10 porcelain to various  types stone and earthenware clay bodies. There are thousands of pieces: river rocks, blades of grass, bathroom tiles, lighting sconces; finials, spires, balustrades, corbels; vines, flowers, trees, sprouts and clover, sticks, shrubs and mushrooms; lamp shades, fireflies, ladders and stairs, stonewalls and slate pieces; the thinnest plates for a movie screen, various moons and stars. Each piece is hand formed and fired, mortared together, wired up and programmed.

 

The four installations propose different ways to understand history: an idealized recreation; a complex model including the real, imaginary, and stylized; a movie that replays a specific moment. The fourth space offers an alternative, looking at what's all around us and seeing how that's the product of history. It invites viewers to see themselves as part of this history with the very space they occupy recreated and installed in the vitrine.

Fractured Reflections is an accompanying installation on the grand staircase landing. The bookshelf with ninety-six one-foot square mirrors, each at a slightly different angle, is a demonstration in the complexity of point-of-view. It offers a fifth, metaphorical approach to how history is constructed. Hidden, red flannel sandbag supports keep the mirrors in place.