“Here”; Wood, Fountain, Glass, Text, Mirror, Casters; 60´W x 100´L
Developed in part as a response to the physical/ architectural characteristics of the site, this piece explored our notion of R/reality. The installation consisted of four stanzas or stations; the atrium construction, the room with the fountain, the darker corner with sheets of glass, and the mezzanine vantage point.
At the center of the space, in the atrium area, a large maze-like construction ( 45´L x 14´W x 9´H) was fabricated out of fir 2 x 4’s. The entire structure was supported by 5″ casters, thereby making the entire piece mobile. Patrons were also able to walk through this maze, as mirrors set into the piece reflected their passing. Further back, a large fountain was visible, although situated out of reach behind a glass door inscribed with a Middle Eastern fairy tale. In the darkest corner of the space several large panes of glass ( 4´W x 7´H), leaned precariously against the wall, each sheet of glass had the word “Here” sandblasted onto its face. Overhead lights caused the shadows of the words to be cast onto the walls. As the viewer walked through the space either the sandblasted word on glass and/or it’s shadow on the wall were legible at different vantage points. From the mezzanine vantage point, it became evident to the viewer that the wooden construction (on the first floor) was in fact the mirror image (upside down and backward) of the word “Here”. The following story was sandblasted on the glass door to the room with the fountain.
Neither here nor elsewhere, there was a lost traveler, who after walking all day in a desert, found himself by the ruins of a castle. Now as it was very hot and he was desperately thirsty, he began to search for water. Although, he looked and looked, wandering through the many chambers of the castle, there was no water to be found. Filled with despair the traveler stumbled into a room where, to his great surprise, there was a fountain flowing with sweet, clear water. While bending down to drink, however he lost his balance and fell in.
At the bottom he found himself on the outskirts of a great city. As he walked through the streets, still hoping to quench his thirst, he came to what seemed to be the center of the city. Here he noticed a great commotion, the streets were full of people, everyone murmuring excitedly that the Queen was coming. All the people were wearing the most beautiful clothes, yet when the Queen appeared, she was dressed in rags and tatters.
As soon as the Queen saw the traveler she knew that he was a stranger, and invited him to be her guest at a feast that evening. At this repast, the traveler was seated next to the Queen and she asked him to tell how he had come to her country. So the traveler told her of the many places he had visited and of the many things he had seen. When he had finished the Queen was so impressed by his knowledge and experience that she asked him to stay and become her advisor. He agreed, and soon forgot all about his past, and native land.
Many years went by, and the traveler became a valued member of the court, counseling the queen on many important matters. One day as he strolled about a little used section of the palace, he was suddenly overcome by a burning thirst. In search of some water, he entered a room which he had never noticed before, and there he found a beautiful fountain. Bending over to drink; he glimpsed his reflection in the water and saw himself standing by a fountain in a ruined castle.