Marc Roudebush speaks about "Between Memory and History" (Representation 26, Spring, 1998) and has coined an expression in French; lieux de mémoire, to speak about "sites of memory." Roudebush says that memory attaches itself to sites, whereas history to events:
Memory takes root in the concrete, in spaces, gestures, images and objects; history binds itself strictly to temporal continuities, to progressions and to relations between things.
Pinning Down the Dust
This installation is the first piece I made after moving into a large warehouse studio in Providence. The building was an old mill, and the space had been previously used for making carpets. The space had huge dust-rats, balls of dust, hovering over the floor and as a response to the never-ending task of cleaning, I began to pin down the dust with small metal thumbtacks and in the photograph there are about 1000 pins. I anticipated that the pins would continue to gather dust, over time.
While pinning down the dust, I noticed how the pins, metal thumb tacks with a flat heads on short stems, reflected the light from the window at certain angles. While photographing the piece, my perception of the pins became to be more about them reflecting the light and she bent them towards the window. The little heads on their stems, are reminiscent of Heliotropes; flowers that turn towards the sun looking for sunlight.
In Between the Floorboards/Ajar
My artistic endeavor is to bring attention and to visualize that which is invisible, or in my opinion neglected. During my investigation of the floor I discovered that the most neglected place in a building is the space between the floorboards, where the dirt collects, and I used thin glass thread to bring beauty to it. The piece speaks quietly, and is visible only at certain angles when the glass is catching the light from the windows or the half open door in Ajar. Because the glass is resting below the surface of the floor one is able to walk on it without breaking the delicate threads.
In this three dimensional drawing I used a carpenter's chalk-line tool across the length and the width of the floor. The chalk is aligned with the studs of chipboard partitions, which divide the space, and superimposes a grid onto the floor. The intention was to highlight the juxtaposition of the temporary, low-budget partitions, with the old, permanent architecture. The grid revealed that the old floors are slightly uneven and sagged in certain places. The drawing can be interpreted as a topographical mapping of the floor – a landscape within the architecture.
Pinning Down the Sunlight
In this installation I traced the sunlight as it moved through the space from about nine in the morning and until it disappeared at one in the afternoon. I attempted to catch the reflected sunlight, with small metal thumbtacks, but failed inevitably because the sun moved too fast. The piece speaks of the impossibility of stopping time.
In my investigations I often find myself trying to capture a passing moment or the fleeting time, in what is obviously an impossible task. However, the residue, the product of my artwork, is catching something if only a trace from that fleeting moment. In Pinning Down the Sunlight the pin's points can be regarded as thresholds, each containing the notion of "now."