“All_Over” : Ben Brandt
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 19th, 2012, 7-11PM
On view by appointment only through May 26th, 2012
“All_Over” is a contemporary iteration of an ancient form, the grotto. Ambiguous in its definition owing to various uses, both artificial and manmade grottos are caves that have served as oracle temples and garden decorations. Generally, manmade grottos are created to represent their natural counterpart, sculpted environments that are embellished with statuary and artificial geological formations. The famous Buontalenti Grotto in Boboli Garden outside Florence houses a sculpted pastoral scene, encrusted with stalactites, along with Michaelangelo’s Prisoners, and landscape frescoes that provide a space for contemplation of the numinous.
The site-specific installation “All_Over”, takes as a departure point, the often-overlooked grotto-like domestic spaces of the attic and basement crawlspaces. These liminal spaces that insulate and buffer everyday living spaces from the exterior world, often serve as repositories of little-used items of storage, or house the mechanical systems that regulate the flow of air and water through the structure. These spaces often sit dark and forgotten for extended periods until either some problem with our environmental regulation system presents itself, or some occurrence outside of the daily flow of life creates the need for us to enact a retrieval operation. If a building and a body were metaphorically mapped into each other, the attic and the basement would represent the space of memory and the subconscious, respectively. This grotto presents a collapse of these two separate zones, where blown insulation will become the geologic accretions over the stored remnants of sculptures as psychological contents.