Janee has asked me (aka the Beard, or Greg) to start writing some of these artist posts. So today is the day of my first artist post which means I have to start with one of my all time favorite artists.
Ann Hamilton is an installation artist who has been in many biennials, museums and galleries. She often creates works that revolve around our social connections and ties to physical objects like yarn, threads and our bodies.
I want to highlight one of her most recent major installations which took place at the Armory in New York from 2012-13. The piece is titled the event of a thread.
Hamilton wrote an amazing artist statement which I will just quote a small paragraph from:
"the event of a thread is made of many crossings of the near at hand and the far away: it is a body crossing space, is a writer's hand crossing a sheet of paper, is a voice crossing a room in a paper bag, is a reader crossing with a page and with another reader, is listening crossing with speaking, is an inscription crossing a transmission, is a stylus crossing a groove, is a song crossing species, is the weightlessness of suspension crossing the calling of bell or bellows, is touch being touched in return. It is a flock of birds and a field of swings in motion. It is a particular point in space at an instant of time."
The focal point of the installation was a large white curtain that hung in the middle of the large room. Attached to the curtain were swings on either side of the curtain that viewers could use. As the swings move they tug on the curtain in different ways causing the curtain to dance as the different swings move at the viewers whim.
The piece is visually stunning. Many viewers found the best view came from lying on the floor beneath the curtain and looking up as it moved.
There are many other elements that make up the full experience though. At one end of the space two readers read an improvised script from a scroll to pigeons. Viewers received radios in paper bags that they could carry with them throughout the space so that they might listen to the words that were being read aloud.
At the other end of the room a writer sat at a desk facing away from the installation with only a mirror to catch a glimpse of what was going on behind her. She wrote letters to distant places and emotions. For example; "Dear Sadness," or "Dear Near."
There was singing at the end of each day and vinyl records being cut. All of it under the title the event of a thread.
Check out more of her work at the link below and think about the mystery that she imbues in her actions. There is such a sense of community, connection and interconnection.
I hope you enjoyed the post and I hope you are intrigued enough to give your opinion of this magnificent piece in the comments!