ONGOING COLLABORATION WITH MAYA PINDYCK
Two concerns brought us together to make this work: 1. The ways ideas about an object’s size and material can dictate its public sense of significance. 2. The gap between writing and sculpture in many art contexts and the ways writing often gets used to support or explain a work of art. We wanted to disrupt these assumptions and to mobilize an interconnected relationship between sculpture and written language. As a result, we came together to form Monumental, an exhibition that honors the small and the poetic by collapsing ideas around historical importance. The show also dismantles conventional functions of language and opens up possibilities for what language can become.
We begin by presenting viewers with a false narrative that introduces large, historic sculptures documented by a (fictional) art historian Arthur Block and later made into a conceptual work by a (fictional) artist Mary Todotych. This narrative is supported by the presence of blown-up reproductions of photographs of the supposedly historic, large sculptures, which viewers are set up to believe were created to monumentalize a collective loss in France in the late 1800s. As the exhibition continues, the myth unravels, eventually leading viewers to the actual sculptures: small bronzes accompanied by poems of equal measure. In the corner of the room, a recording of an old woman reciting one of the verses can be heard. Together, the poetic bronzes and the sculptural poems create an intimate space for zooming into a quiet body—a body that gestures at unwritten histories of loss.