outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun

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outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun engages with various notions of safe spaces. These spaces are contingent – they depend on the individual, the conditions of the moment, and the realities, or perceived realities, of specific life circumstances.

For most people, built structures and architecture provide stability, shelter, and protection. These above ground structures inhabit the surface of our world, a world in which we are typically comfortable. Subterranean spaces, in contrast, conjure thoughts of vulnerability, the fugitive, or  fantasy. This installation realigns space, working to confront complex relationships and norms of society. This architectural intervention is a transitional structure for control over one’s visibility: hiding, avoidance, evasion, escape and other strategies used to counteract coercive social and political relations.

The subterranean space offers a temporary retreat from the surface, illuminated by blue suns and resting cushions. The cushions are designed using images of hardware that were tested and mostly rejected as potential safe designs for use in prisons – attempts to prevent harm to self and others. The raised floor, openly on view from the interior and exterior, is occupied with stripped down, unfinished constructs of domesticity. Visitors can engage with the space through a multitude of shared social gestures – lying down or resting, having tea or eating, ascending or descending. This engagement serves as a reminder that in reality, singular actions always take place in a context of others.

Spatial relationships create real consequences in our lives. Embedded in the work is a relationship between these consequences and to the creation of an infinite number of tiny black holes, which provide possibilities of a split in space or a split in time – the development of parallel experiences and alternate spaces of comfort and tension.

 

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PERFORMANCE: where is this place, i pinch myself

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outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun and additional performance programming were commissioned by Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana. The exhibition was curated by John Spiak and performers were invited by Kim Zumpfe. Performances included laub gathering and dispersing with a choir in Voice(full) – a participation within the liminality of becoming, Dylan Mira for sure did time travel in Black Hole Notes on the Oriented Strandboard, and Cay Castegnetto with Alan Poma and David Cavazos created an environment on an uncertain ground in RELAX BLUE. This work was made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and Grand Central Art Center. And a special thank you to Cassandra Coblentz, Christopher Wormwold, and Freddy Villalobos for your contributions to the exhibition, and especially the Grand Central Art Center staff for your continuing support in making this work possible throughout the summer.

Installation Image Credit: Christopher Wormald

Performance Image Credit: Lainey LaRosa