Invisible Inflatable/Deflatable Monuments (2004)

2004 Haus Gallery, Pasadena, CA

“’The empire is being crushed by its own weight,’ Kublai thinks and in his dreams now cities light as kites appear, pierced cities like lace, cities transparent as mosquito netting, cities like leaves’ veins, cities lined like a hand’s palm, filigree cities to be seen through their opaque and fictitious thickness.”

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

15_Invisible_Inflatable_Deflatable_Monuments_Installation_Vi copy

Installation View: Proposal for Invisible Inflatable/Deflatable Monuments after Jerusalem

To be in Jerusalem is to be surrounded by buildings, streets, and landscape overdetermined by opposing memories of historical events. These conflicts of claim swell over Jerusalem rendering it a mythological place. Watching dozens of people at the Western Wall tucking their minuscule messages into the ruin of the old synagogue precipitated a curiosity in me about why and how we anthropomorphize monuments.

The monument begins as a cultural, religious or political emblem. As the monument decays the infinite potential of its substance is revealed. What remains in this process of disintegration is an index of the former structure, the ruin. Unlike the activity of decay, the ruin arrests this motion and replaces the original as a new monument. Like the Western Wall, the ruin reshapes our understanding of the monument through reassignment of signification. My work attempts to situate the monuments of Jerusalem not as permanent, mythological and religious structures, but as the cultural exchange capital of violence and power they’ve become. The monuments are presented primarily as form without substance, malleable, yet resisting distortion or alteration and maintaining their original, inherent shapes.

14 Invisible Inflatable Deflatable Monuments Russian Church

Proposal for Invisible Inflatable/Deflatable Monuments after Jerusalem: Russian Church

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