Shelter & Shadow


Description of the spaces


The first room

Dimensions: 10' ceiling, 4' deep, 6' wide.

This carpeted room included a 4'x4' area encircled with red drapes and an opening to a 2' x4' closet. The curtained area had a straight chair and a hanging lamp overhead. The chair faced the closet. The viewer could see women's clothes and could hear a looped 25-minute tape of a woman sobbing uncontrollably and brokenheartedly.

The second room

Dimensions: 7' ceiling, 4' wide, 4' deep.

The floor was carpeted, the ceiling was of acoustical tile, and the walls were lined with sheets of egg-crate foam rubber. The soundproofed room contained evidence of drug and alcohol abuse. It held a stand with a large, white porcelain bowl containing a vial and syringe; a mirror; lights above the mirror; a wall rack with three shelves full of pain killers, sleeping pills and prescription medications; and a wastebasket with empty wine and liquor bottles. Despite the soundproofing, the crying from the first room is still somewhat audible.

The third room

Dimensions: 11' ceiling, 7' wide, 4' deep.

The room contained a table, stool, calendar, rifle, and a loudly ticking clock. On the table was a boombox playing a loop of wailing sirens. It was not immediately clear that the sirens were coming from the boombox. They could have been coming from the open window of the gallery.

The viewer could climb a set of steps in the room and look out from a high opening to monitor activities in the gallery, watching people enter and leave. However, from that position the viewer exposed him or herself to view.

The fourth area: the open shelter

This space suggested an expansion of consciousness, as opposed to the narrowing experience of the three small rooms.

It included the two windows on the north wall of the gallery and contained field boulders, a bench, and a galvanized iron wash basin containing a pond pump, water, and more rocks. Three lamps made of galvanized iron buckets sat on their sides on the floor.