The Archive and the Repertoire: Two Bodies of Knowledge in my Sculpture


During this slide lecture I will present a sampling of my research-based installations, discuss my research methodology and examine the importance of collaboration in my practice.

Through multi-media installations that incorporate objects and actions, I delve into interpretation of histories. My work functions as a stage for two bodies of knowledge: the archive, which lives in books, images and objects and the repertoire, found in the long history of movement passed from person to person. Each project pulls a single object or action of a narrative and then stages a re-enacts or reimagines the historical practices of that object.

The work depends on collaboration with other artists and experts—scientists, historians, first-person witnesses. I take on the roles of artist, social scientist, and curator while working with people who daily perform the tasks of a story—archivists, farmers, and builders. During an exhibition, the collaboration extends to the audience and in a sense, the gallery. Influenced by my background in ceramics, I carry labor and craft traditions into my research-based installations. The ceramicist's practice of monitoring the drying process becomes a framework for performance in my projects with daily interactions or episodic actions in the gallery. I continually re-activate and reshape the work by making transparent a narrative of production through the accumulation of labor within the gallery. With an eye towards extending knowledge, the audience often participates in the production the work.