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Memento Mori

Site-Specific Installation for

In Three Dimensions: Women Sculptors Of The '90's,
Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY

Audio by sound artist Mary Beth Kirchner

Removing Memento Mori from its temple in Japan to a new home in New York required creating another context. This transition paralleled a movement from a private to a public space; from a place referencing histories of interior reflections of the individual, to a context referencing histories of the cumulative activities of individuals within communities, cities and nations.

Writings with and without words create the new context through which the viewer moves and discovers records of human activities. Walking through the calligraphy of knotted ropes, the viewer is shadowed by sounds of other footsteps emerging in whispers from within the knots.

Light filters through words in a myriad of languages across the bees-waxed pages of international newspapers forming the paneled ceiling of the installation. These words travel from the ceiling down the coded ropes, through knots of memories to then spill out onto a floor of peat moss strewn with pots and pans embalmed in tar and beeswax. The viewer, standing in their midst, not only reads these records visually but, filled with their smells, is forced to read other subliminal layers of their texts.