A palimpsest, historically, is a manuscript page that has been scraped or washed so that it can be used again. The old text is gone, crudely dispensed of. But the lost writing still lingers, lurking in the scuffmarks like ghosts in the wallpaper. It’s not
By ro / lu in art
Published: Friday, 07 June 13 - 11:23 AM (GMT -06:00)
Last Updated: Saturday, 08 June 13 - 02:54 PM (GMT -06:00)
celebration / love / loss set up in chris larson's studio
original breuer house
celebration / love / loss by chris larson is a 1:1 scale replica of a house by architect marcel breuer that is being presented at the third annual mpls/st paul nuit blanche, northern spark. the sculpture will be burned on saturday night at 2am.
A palimpsest, historically, is a manuscript page that has been scrapedor washed so that it can be used again. The old text is gone, crudely dispensed of. But the lost writing still lingers, lurking in the scuffmarks like ghosts in the wallpaper. It’s not a blank slate. It’s a slate that’s haunted, soaked in memory, a site of psychic recycling.
“I love that word,” he says. “When I first heard it, I thought, ‘That’s exactly what I’m interested in.’ It really resonated.”
So Larson’s replica is a palimpsest — scrubbed, though never free, of the story of Kacmarcik and Breuer. - via vita.mn
chris larson and friends
i was immediately struck by our friend chris larson's new work celebration / love / loss... suddenly running through a nice explosion of thoughts and questions. chris answered a few of them for me but, i have a feeling, this will keep going after the work and hopefully i can revisit this and explore what the work becomes as it evolves through it's different stages.
matt olson - i'm a huge fan of marcel breuer and, accordingly, have been familiar with this house for years since it is here in saint paul. i've never seen it outside of photography though and it was sort of stunning to see it in your studio as a giant model. it looks so light! so first, maybe you can describe the project a bit? the thinking around how it came to be?
chris larson - The first Breuer I ever walked through was on a college art field trip to the Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota in 1987. I knew nothing about architecture but was aware I was walking through a very special and amazing place. A few years ago someone asked me if I knew there was a Breuer House built as a gift for one of the monks up at Collegeville just miles from my Studio in East St. Paul? I did not. I checked it out and was totally blown away by the house and the close proximity to my studio and house where I have lived and worked for the past 15 years! I knew I wanted to do a project based on the house but tucked it away for the moment. About a year ago, Steve Dietz, President of Northern Spark approached me and asked if I would submit a proposal for Northern Spark 2013. I sent off a wild proposal that I didn't think would have a chance to make it. I proposed to rebuild the St. Paul Breuer house, install it in downtown St. Paul and at Midnight it would go up in flames. I called it Celebration/Love/Loss. He immediately emailed me back and said he loved it and would raise the funds to support the project. The replica now sits downtown St. Paul ready to be burned.
photos Alan Gerlach
matt olson - i'm interested in the blurry edges of objects like this and right away i'm thinking... is it sculpture? is it architecture? what's it's relationship to time? what's it's relationship in a poetic sense to the original structure and breuer? and what is the work when it's complete and it is just a memory for those who encountered it and whatever documentation was created?
chris larson - Good question. I consider myself a sculptor but was recently asked this question of sculpture/architecture. I did a project at the Walker Art Center a few years ago where I built a large wooden bridge like sculpture that filled a space and passed through a window to the outside of the museum. It was about 50 feet long and 18 feet in height. Museum goers were allowed to climb the steps and walk into the piece. It definitely had a relationship to architecture but seems different because it occupied a space within a space and was temporary.....it only existed for the duration of the exhibition. The Breuer replica is similar in that its temporary, its made out of two by fours and is clad in white cardboard....I consider it a sculpture.
matt olson - thinking about the spectacle of it's ending, i assume huge amounts of digital photos and videos will be created by people. social media doesn't seem to play a role in your work... do you have thoughts about the role of this documentation in the work? in a situation like this, maybe the photo takes care of the part of an experience you can't have while you're in it. for me, this aspect of the work will be as mysterious as the work itself.
chris larson - I have given lots of thought to the documentation of the project. Its easy to set up a camera an get spectacular images of a Breuer house going up in flames. I am going to set a camera up at St Paul's Indian Mounds park overlooking the Breuer replica about a mile from the site. Removed from the spectacle.
in a stroke of perfect timing, my friend brian
just sent along the fantastic exhibition catalog for architektonika
, an exhibit that took place at hamburger - bahnhof in berlin and explores terrain that has a nice overlap to this work and is probably informing some of my excitement. the only bummer is? my recent surgery is probably going to prohibit me from seeing the work irl
and i'll have to know it through documentation only... maybe it's better that way :-)
here's more about the whole project
here's more about the breuer house.
please enjoy the time and space.
posted by matt olson