Borrowed Authorities

Each screen is custom built to fit exactly in the large chicago-style windows, framing the city and the soffit ornamentation of Louis Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott building. The frames are pressure fitted in place with no fasteners that would bind the work to the existing structure. The rough finished wood frames conform precisely to the warps and bows of the 100 year-old casings. The rustic frames and early modernist architecture are improbably overlaid across a great distance, both geographic and vernacular. Though the windows do not open, these authorities and histories vie for our attention from the periphery of our vision.

The screen becomes both barrier and passage, mediating our experience between indoor and outdoor space. Initially the material itself is not seen. It can be perceived through the appearance of moiré patters as the screen material reacts optically with the brickwork, shutters, gratings, and ornaments of adjacent and distant buildings. As our angle of viewing decreases in relationship to the screen, the mesh begins to vignette around the edges. If we press our noses against the screen the visual obstruction gives way, creating a patchwork of splotches partially obscuring our vision but revealing again the city in front of us.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago MFA 2013 Exhibition