Monday, July 26, 2010

Quantum Confusion: Plywood and Plexiglas Drawing Installation

It's been one year in process, and I finally installed it today for a group figurative exhibit: Continuare: The Figurative Tradition in Contemporary Art , at the Ewing Gallery at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The exhibit runs from Aug. 1- Sept. 12th and also includes East Tennessee artists Bain Butcher, Judy Condon, Lynda Evans, and Carl Gombert; Asheville artist Virginia Derryberry, and Florida artist Thaddeus Erdahl. There will be an afternoon closing reception Sun., Sept. 12th. Gallery summer hours are Tues. -Fri. 12-4, and will be switching to regular hours when school opens.

There have been many theories given to the existence of many, or parallel worlds, both in the disciplines of Quantum Physics and Metaphysics. They range from solid research that can deliver actual theory-proving data, to the more esoteric work of Lewis and Kripke, which has a tendency to sound like the conversation of a couple of 1960’s era grad students on acid. Popular media occasionally tries to produce their own version of these theories, from an episode of “Lost in Space” that scared the pants off me when I was a kid by showing characters on the program walking into another world through a special mirror portal, to the contemporary and excellent Fox network series “Fringe”. Whether any parts of these theories eventually prove to be true remains to be seen, but with further developments in the world of Quantum Physics, we are constantly reminded that the more we discover, the less we know.
My own installation plays with the portal idea, using Plexiglas (instead of a mirror). The Physicist, with her pencil and clipboard, is the only alert presence, as the other participants complacently participate in something they haven’t figured out yet.

The installation size is approximately 8’W x 16’L x 8’H, and contains eleven full scale charcoal portraits on cut-out plywood. They are mounted on black ½” plywood floor stands. Two sheets of 4’ x 8’ Plexiglas are both sandwiched between emerging and disappearing people, and are also stabilized by cables connected to the ceiling.

rear view

right angle