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RAKE OF EVENING

2008

Light, Prism, Map, Wood, Velvet

Dimensions: Variable

 

A frayed and crumpled map of North America is presented in a plywood container lined with black velvet.  Light rakes horizontally across the map in such a way that the ridges and valleys of the aged paper and fabric are brought into sharp relief.  The effect is similar to seeing the desert southwest from an aerial vantage point as the sun is setting in the west.  The map dates from 1917 and was found in an abandoned one-room schoolhouse in Northern Vermont.  The plywood box is meant to refer to the geometry in minimalist sculpture as well as the railings at overlooks at prominent natural features, such as the Grand Canyon.  By drawing attention to the texture of this aged device and its ideological significance—especially in terms of territory and identity—this piece explores the tension between representation and materiality.