Like Ancient Pots spilled from a drowning ship, tube sponges bulge eerily …, 1993
mixed media installation
Like Ancient Pots spilled from a drowning ship, tube sponges bulge eerily … was taken from a caption which accompanied an image of underwater tube sponges in National Geographic magazine. In this piece, the analogy to ancient pots is taken literally, as physical reproductions of ancient pots and tube sponges are placed side-by-side.
First exhibited with the Spontaneous Combustion Collective in a rented office space in Toronto, the installation consisted of two sets of reproductions. In the gallery lobby, the objects were presented separately: a poster-sized version of the National Geographic photograph was displayed opposite a row of ancient-looking plaster pots. Inside the second room, the metaphor came to life as replicas of the tube sponges were displayed in a dark and intimate corner, atmospherically lit to create the illusion of rippling water. A bench, shaped like a sunken ship, housed two portholes wherein an illusory view of ancient pots appeared to float underwater. Like Ancient Pots … acted as a metaphor for the structure of language on which we depend to describe the unknown or the inaccessible, worlds which seduce us with their unfamiliarity.
… in Like Ancient Pots … we are literally and figuratively “submerged” between realities produced by language and images.” Barbara Fischer