To mark the fifth year of summer exhibition programming focused on the vitality in the arts in Somerville and Medford, Tufts’ host communities, we are pleased to present five site-specific installations by Kyle Larabee, Mindy Nierenberg, Roy Pardi, Randal Thurston, and August Ventimiglia.
About the installations:
She Loves Me/She Loves Me Not is an installation comprised of two connected spaces, an anteroom and a nursery, inspired by the artist’s relationship with his infant daughter and the varied emotions of first-time fatherhood. Dried flower parts cover the furniture and objects and act as wall decoration. The absence of a baby figure calls to mind the anticipation of soon-to-be parents but also carries a macabre sense of emptiness.
Bibliotheca Publica: An Endangered Speciespays homage to the public library as the artist’s refuge and laments the demise of the library as a cultural and funding priority. The installation has four components: quotations printed on recycled card catalog cards; altered hardcover books with handwritten notes by Medford residents about what they have discovered at the library; an oak card catalog case containing information about libraries and pieces of ephemera; and a library desk, chair, and lamp. The artist invites viewers to write postcards to local officials about their library that will be mailed at the close of the exhibition.
Ring is an interactive installation of sequenced light. In a dimly lit space, emitted light bounces around the walls in randomly assigned sequences of strength, speed, direction, and life span. When viewers enter a circular sensor range, a virtual “light object” is created at their location and Ring switches to interactive mode. Based on simple rules attached to moving and pausing, viewers will invent strategies of interaction and play.
Wunderkammern is an installation of cut paper frames, hung salon-style along forty feet of gallery wall. The cut paper frames are richly decorative and from far away appear simply as ornate objects. Closer inspection reveals that the frames are composed of skeletal and floral elements. Thurston is inspired by Wunderkammern (cabinets of curiosity) as proto-museums that contained a variety of exotica, displayed objects in a grand mixture, and instilled awe in the viewer. The installation also recalls spectacular and morbid Eastern European ossuaries, which contained decorations, furniture, and sculptural tableaux composed entirely of human bones.
For Chalk Heat, the artist will install a large hardboard surface to the floor painted with chalkboard paint. He will then run elliptical laps on the surface wearing sneakers with white chalk embedded in the treads. The site-specific drawing references both the Ellis Oval outdoor track located steps from the Gallery and the university classroom environment. It also evokes the repetition and discipline characteristic of Minimalist art. Five Heat drawings will be done in situ, each made with dry, heat-compressed charcoal inscribed repetitively into an ellipse. As the artist presses the charcoal into the paper, he creates heat, the stub of charcoal disintegrates, and the debris accumulates on the paper. These drawings are displayed flat on sculpture pedestals.