INCOMPETENT ALCHEMIST | 2009 (click to expand project)
This installation was inspired by a summer spent in Italy, and is an investigation of the role of the artist as alchemist. I collected garbage from my studio floor for three months, and siphoned the smallest sweepings into a blown-glass bauble. The bauble was mounted to an altered gumball machine, from which a tube coiled the shavings down onto a stage (where gold leaf spilled out at the end, tripped up by a trap door). Next to the stage a pull–cart rested, laden with arcane and banal ephemera: a hand-made bow and arrow, a bird skull mounted on a spike and protected by a bell jar, mouse bones in a glass jar with an accompanying kaleidoscopic “viewing apparatus,” and cast-bronze rams’ horns, molded by the artists’ hands. Behind these platforms a small crate sits on the floor, filled with replacements and supplies.
The installation is triangulated, in an echo of the required style in Renaissance-era painting, and evokes the mystical power of threes.
Photos: Jori Ketten