Vinculum (state I)
hand pulled woodblock prints, hand stained Thai tissue papers, chicken wire, copper wire, spray paint, berries, stained beeswax, recycled teabags, hemp, etched copper poles, latex paint
monkey bars: 6.75’ x 8’ x 1.5’
membrane: 8.75’ x 13’ x 18.5’ (at widest points
© Copyright 2011 Kathryn Cellerini Moore
In the summer of 2010, I was out for a drive near the property where I grew up in rural Colton, Oregon. Upon seeing the property I immediately had to pull the truck to the side of the road because my eyes and face were drenched with tears. There in the front yard stood my old set of monkey bars. The galvanized steel was black from use and weather-worn; the structure, tipped forward. When I saw this familiar object from my childhood my body reacted before my mind could make sense of it. After returning to my studio in New York, I was still deeply concerned and puzzled by the experience. I wrote a letter to the family now living at my old Colton address and introduced myself, along with my strange desire to dig up and re-install the monkey bars as part of an art project. The matriarch of the family reassured me that I could have the jungle gym; however, she informed me that her husband had just re-stabilized and painted it for their own kids to play with and enjoy. Through talking with this kind and generous stranger, I realized that the set of monkey bars was an object stained with oils from my body, the bodies of the kids who played on it before me, and now the most recent generation of kids. The monkey bars embodied memory. The exhibition Vinculum (state I) explored what I call physiological memory; the idea that we can have very real, visceral responses to objects or memories before we realize or rationalize why we are having them.
While building the endoskeleton of Vinculum, I was introduced to an essay entitled “Two Floors” by philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Using the flowing, folding fabric of baroque sculpture as visual metaphor, Deleuze was interested in describing a membrane, or space, that is constantly in flux and built of folds that are ever enfolding, refolding, and unfolding. This shifting membrane, or vinculum, originated as both mathematical symbol and as the place of exchange during transubstantiation. But Deleuze considered the vinculum a membrane through which actions and perceptions pass between body and mind. For me, building this exhibition was a process to reconcile the tension inherent in discrepancies such as crying when looking at an object of play. Because we define ourselves through memory and world experience, Deleuze’s writings helped me visualize a new way to show the relationship between self-perception and physiology.
“The Two Floors.” Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. University of Minnesota Press, 1992.
Maquette for Vinculum #2
berries, stained beeswax, recycled teabags, chicken wire
© Copyright 2010 Kathryn Cellerini Moore