Grassroots Temple 2021, new installation in studio 308
GRASSROOTS TEMPLE is a recent installation in studio 308. A 14′ x 12′ wall of photographic grass surrounds a new diptych “Shelter in Place” like a protective temple. The strips of grass roll up selectively to reveal the vulnerable images beneath. Two small screens, “White Grasses” and “Waves” frame each side of the temple, inviting the viewer in.
After a full year of my own sheltering in place, I have turned my attention to the dramatic condition of houseless-ness that seems prevalent in so many urban environments. The incongruity of the mandate to shelter in place coupled with the scarcity of available shelters struck me as absurd. How could so many people hope to protect themselves and others without access to the basic requirements of a “shelter”?
With the 2021 diptych “Shelter in Place”, I approach this subject by superimposing a dream-like, psychological desire for a “home” or a “bed” over the harsh physical reality of the street. In “Shelter”, a schematic rendering of a deconstructed house, nestled within the graphic symbol of a house, floats over a sea of colorful tent communities. In its counterpart, “Sleep”, the humanity of street sleepers is represented in B/W, whereas the bed they may be dreaming of floats in color above them. These works can be viewed together as one piece, as well as independently.