The (Barn)acle's Identity Crisis...and other Bedtime Stories
screenprinted tulle, carved fenceposts, wood stain, antique barn windows, ladder, hay, house paint, pins, nails, cable, lights
floor : 5” x 12’ x 10’
bunk bed: 8.5’ x 6’ x 2.5
© Copyright 2011 Kathryn Cellerini Moore
The (Barn)acle’s Identity Crisis…and other Bedtime Stories was a composition of elements remniscent of my childhood bedroom and an old barn. With this work I began to deal with history and how memories intertwine to shape personal identity. To make sense of my feelings of loss, I investigated ways abstract symbolism could represent personal identity.
The title of the exhibition, The (Barn)acle’s Identity Crisis…and other Bedtime Stories, alluded to the optical presence of barns across Oregon’s landscape. A barnacle can be defined as something or someone who is tenacious, numerous, and difficult to get rid of. The point was to position the old wooden barn as a metaphor for memory, which, like barns, are numerous and strong against being weathered over time. The unwanted memories are the most stubborn and difficult to get rid of. The title also intended to synthesize the plight of the dilapidated barn with my anxious struggles, in the form of a superficially safe bedtime story with palpable violent, aggressive, obsessive undertones.
“My body, still too heavy with sleep to move, would endeavor to construe from the pattern of its tiredness the position of its various limbs, in order to deduce therefrom the direction of the wall, the location of the furniture, to piece together and give a name to the house in which it lay. Its memory, the composite memory of its ribs, its knees, its shoulder blades, offered it a series of rooms in which it had at one time or another slept, while the unseen walls, shifting and adapting themselves to the shape of each successive room that it remembered, whirled around in the dark. And even before my brain, hesitating at the threshold of times and shapes, had re-assembled the circumstances sufficiently to identify the room, it— my body— would recall from each room in succession the style of bed, the position of the doors, the angle at which the daylight came through the windows, whether there was a passage outside, what I had had in my mind when I went to sleep and found there when I awoke.”
-Marcel Proust. Remembrance of Things Past: Swann’s Way.
Vintage Books, 1982, p.5