Museum as Theater as Garden
Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver
Five glazed terracotta sculptures
Highest 31", Window space 50' L x 5' W
For Museum as Theater as Garden, completed for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver as a permanent commission, I created a group of objects that reflects the eclecticism of a garden collection where each plant may represent a specific place, culture, culinary, or pharmaceutical use. My collection, of nine terracotta sculptures, however, engages different histories of the decorative and the monumental arts.
Hybrid examines the realm between manipulated nature (the genetically modified perhaps) and the unadulterated. Its pure geometry references modernist reductiveness, while the profusion of flowers covering its surface denies this and embraces an aesthetic rooted in the decorative arts tradition. The asymmetrical piece, Weed, explores the struggle between chaos and order, nature and culture, while its title references the cultural categories we apply to nature.
Two five-foot wide mirrored surfaces running the entire length of fifty feet down either side of this museum café. Behind, five-foot high windows overlook a rooftop garden and offer views of downtown Denver. Visually my pieces hover in this a glass environment – a membrane between inside and outside. This café space addresses the inbetweeness I am concerned with in my work. I strive to address the 'both and' in my work rather than the 'either or', so that the pieces function as both site and object, character and setting, theatre and prop. Similarly, gardens have always been about here and elsewhere.