Multimedia Installation

Art Museum of Americas

AVALANCHE  |  Washington, D.C.  2001


Media: Abaca cast paper and mixed media
Dimensions: 7 ft x 9 ft x 6 ft
Music: Jonny Perl in collaboration with Grimanesa Amorós

ARTIST STATEMENT (English / Espanol)

This work attempts to describe the relationship between my body and the Earth. The abaca cast parts–modeled from my own body–that comprise the installation can be arranged in numerous formations, echoing the natural shifting of the Earth’s surface. Their placement is purposely malleable to allow adaptation to the individual nature of the space in which the installation takes place. The ensuing random patterns suggest how personal characteristics, over the period of a lifetime, coalesce into pure essence and then ease away into death. Disintegration transforms our bodies as erosion wears away land, leaving only the whiteness of bone.

I am interested in the healing properties of land forms, as well as in people who live “off the land.” I became very aware of natural forces after spending time in the wilderness of New Mexico and Iceland. “Avalanche” represents this search for my understanding of the Earth and our connection to it. The disembodied body parts serve to convey the ephemerality of our human existence on the scale of geologic time.” These body parts document our presence; we will return to the ground as mere fragments of what were once fully-formed entities. Our relationship with the earth comes full circle with our disintegration after death, as we nourish the Earth that has always nourished us. I had the opportunity to collaborate with English composer Jonny Perl, who produced a piece of music entitled “Avalanche,” made specifically for the installation.