Material: Hemp Rope. 8000+ feet.
Rope supply made possible by Twisted Monk
Installation & Volunteer Team: 4 days, 8,000 feet of rope and an fantastic team of volunteers weaving with me created this amazing entrance.
Liza Mae, Janet, Dorothy, Camilla, Mark, Mari, Cheryl, Lovelynn, Blair
Commissioned by the Museum of Sex, NYC for the The Incomplete Araki: Sex, Life, and Death in the Works of Nobuyoshi Araki exhibition.
A 35′ hallway of densely woven rope, serves as a liminal passage into the mind of Nobuyoshi Araki, the controversial and prolific Japanese photographer.
December 2017, Patrice Farameh of The Curated Collection introduced me to Serge Becker, guest curator of this exhibition.
Patrice’s company, Curted Collection published “DESIGN BEHIND DESIRE: The Sensuous Textures of Wanting” by Lisa Z. Morgan. I have several photos and articles in this glorious book.
Serge and the Museum of Sex commissioned me to create the entryway into this exhibition.
My vision – Thinking of Araki’s exhibition as entering his mind, the mind as a house. I pictured a rustic country home of a well-to-do gentleman artist, in the Japan of yore. Such a home would have a dun-colored adobe wall or tall bamboo hedge wall with a rough-hewn gate of wood or bamboo, beyond which you glimpse the garden. The gate is the transition point, where we must leave the busy world behind us. Passing through the gate, we walk along a meandering path of stepping stones set among dew-laden moss. Along the way, the artfully curated garden is designed to look utterly nature-made. Butterflies flutter and dragonflies dart among the maple, camellia, plum, pine, and wisteria. Creatures, spirits, and beings, unseen to our human eyes also live in the garden. As we walk deeper into his estate, the hum of the world fades behind us. To the left a pond, lively with large koi of red, pearl white, and gold. We finally come to his house. Look above and see a face staring down at us from a tile in the peak of the entrance. The face is a guardian ogre, and the tile, or kawara, is a protective symbol. Here we enter, welcomed by the eccentric old man. We take our shoes off, don the house slippers and walk into the cool and dark hallway.
I wove in details into the installation… I didn’t expect most people to notice or understand it – but it was important to me and made me smile while creating this.
The installation starts with a large bamboo gate, as the rustic entrance to the old man’s garden. At the base of the bamboo pole, I made three pairs of wraps, one wrapped 7 times, the next wrapped 5 times, the last wrapped 3 times. I was playing with the numbers 7-5-3 for the auspicious age number for children (shichi-go-san), and sho-chiku-bai (pine, bamboo, plum) the 3 auspicious plants at the home entrances on New Years Day.
Along the tangled arbor of rope, appearing natural yet fully human curated, there are hidden clusters of rope ‘creatures’
At the end of the hall you come face to face with an Araki photo of a woman suspended, legs open, and an orchid flower emerging from her vulva – perhaps the perfected manicured prized flower cultivated by the eccentric man.
As you make the bend, to the left, I wove in a vertical koi pond with rope fish.
Above the entrance to the first exhibition room, I wove a symbol of protection. I know I took a photo of that but i can’t seem to find it now.
April 9th, 2018 I hosted an artist talk and art-making at the Museum of Sex
I talked about the symbolism in the piece. I showed simple ways to add rope to the installation and invited people to take pieces of rope and add their own ‘threads’ and symbols into the piece. With glee and enthusiasm, they took to the task. This made me so happy! I was so happy and elated that I forgot to take photos or any documentation of this lovely evening. I hope that someday I’ll find someone who happened to have documented this. The creation of the original installation was already socially engaged – and now even more so. How often do we get to touch art in the museum, much less add to it personally with the eager invitation from the artist?