Tunguska (A Work In Progress)
‘Tunguska’ (A Work In Progress)
This piece is a direct outgrowth of several earlier works ‘Tom Ridge’, and ‘Beneath Suspicion’. In each of those works the viewer is required to adopt some atypical posture/ orientation in order to traverse the architectural limits of the work.
The viewer is invited to enter (one at a time) a rectangular wood framed structure via a door set into one of its walls. The dimensions of this structure are 8’”H x 4’W x Approx. 30’L. Once inside, a dark fabric curtain is drawn aside to reveal a wooden staircase (as one might have in an old house). The stair appears to be vertical but is instead oriented at a nearly horizontal pitch. At the end of the stair ‘ascent’ lies a landing with a partial door/framed opening through which a scale model vignette is placed. The vignette can only be glimpsed if the viewer makes the entire ‘climb’. The ceilings are pitched to mimic the stair ‘rise’ and the viewer is compelled by the sloping ceiling to adopt a climbing posture even though the stair is horizontal. Two wooden side handrails allow the viewer to adopt this counter-intuitive posture to safely traverse the piece.
The entire structure is acoustically insulated to create a zone of isolation.
A feint air-current will be emitted from the end/ landing to further impel the viewer to make the strange climb to investigate its source. An audio track depicting a droning, scraping, trumpet-like noise is played on a loop.
The vignette scenario is subject to change as the body of the piece is constructed; possible scenarios include:
· An ejecta blanket comprised of small scale objects associated with the intimate pleasures of the home-chairs, sofas, lamps, bookcases, books, claw-foot tubs, bed frames etc.
· A cave-like shaft curving down & out of view- transitioning from house construction materials, thru rock, and finally to a fleshy/ organic substance.
· In either instance I am looking to convey an air of cognitive dissonance between entrance and end-point.
The exterior aesthetic of the structure will play with the conceptual nature of the interior, making a piece that is dually readable. The exact configuration is yet to be determined, but as in the case of my earlier works the exterior will often contain reconstituted elements from the interior as if two parallel realities have collided and transferred their material to each other.
The source of the title ‘Tunguska’ comes from the famous historical/ astronomical event - which occurred in Siberia in the early 1900s. For me this story presents a rich metaphorical / conceptual rabbit-hole in which one is confronted by a shocking scene and compelled to trace its very origin-in my case-a domestic setting- where the promise of ascent is subverted and turned on its head by a sudden and mysterious descent & impact.
'Tunguska' Exterior Elevations
'Tunguska' Section Detail
Proposed Section detail for 'Tunguska' showing dimension and viewer orientation.
'Tunguska' concept sketch
Tunguska Historical Photo
Image depicting impact crater.
Tunguska Historical Photo
Image depicting levelled forest.