This summer’s class is an installation and exhibit planning course, giving us exposure to and practice with a number of different types of installation work. Our first major assignment was to work with the landscape at Castle Rock, KS, to create a Rapprochement installation, or a work which is in harmony with its surroundings. The flip side of this assignment is an Intervention, in which the audience is encouraged or forced to engage in the piece and gain and experience, whether difficult or unpleasant, or simply thought-provoking and tricky to navigate.
I was unsure what to expect, but I love the idea of being in harmony with the space you are in. To prepare for the project, I made notes of what I was looking for: an incline with ledges, possibly some foliage, hopefully water-washed, and shaded. Upon arrival, a perfect spot showed itself in short order and I set about setting up the Crucibles from last semester. This combination of high fired and glazed stoneware against the chalky stone of the Castle Rock formations worked better than I had imagined and I went back with my friend and colleague, Eleanor Heimbaugh, to try a few new settings the following weekend.
Previously, we had been assigned a practice round, for which I made several small cups, and installed them on the Hays Hanging Bridge. I didn’t connect the dots about the Hanging Bridge, but from what I understand the bridge was used for lynchings. Upon learning this, I went back and added some iron oxide to water in the cups and photographed them as they began to disintegrate. This piece was deemed still object based, as you can see the entirety of it from one viewpoint, and was great practice for the Castle Rock project.