Inside Yoknapatawpha, 1992
Middlebury College — Middlebury, Vermont
Site-specific mixed media installation: Steel form covered with tar suspended from top of atrium; standing structures with steel, concrete, straw, wood, beeswax and tar; wood and steel floor piece covered with tar. Atrium interior space framed with re-bar and expanded metal covered with tar.
30ft. H x 28ft. x 22ft.
The impetus for Inside Yoknapatawpha originated with drawings in response to extensive readings of William Faulkner’s novels. Quoting Faulkner in As I Lay Dying:
that’s the trouble with this country. Everything, weather, all hangs on too long. Like our rivers, our land; opaque, slow, violent; shaping and creating the life of man in its implacable and brooding image.
It is this brooding image which I responded to and created an environment that uses landscape as metaphor for the volatile nature and complex layerings of histories of civilizations, of societies in conflict, and of beings in conflict within themselves.
Among the materials used, tar and beeswax are employed not just for color, but also for their visceral nature. Warmed by the sunlight in the atrium space, the complex smells of honey and tar fill the space evoking conflicting associative memories within the viewer and leading subsequently to an investigation of both one’s internal and external landscapes.