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Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT

Materials & Dimensions:
Oak bark, sono tube, mirror, wood, ailanthus tree wound, glass tube, drywall, mdf board, stone, gold leaf, paint. 7 feet 11 inches high x 5 feet 6 inches wide x 17 feet 6 inches long

Room installation done as part of The Best of the Season exhibition.

At that time, the Aldrich Museum galleries included an odd, small, irregularly octagonal room, 9 feet 8 inches long x 7 feet 10 ½ inches wide, with a very narrow door and one narrow window. I used this room and changed the access to it.

The window is covered by a 30-inch diameter ‘oak tree trunk’ (actually, a bark-covered sono tube) with a mirror-lined aperture that coincides with the window and is flush to the glass. This made the glass of the window appear to be absent and reflected the lawn and trees outside and their changes from September through January, which was the duration of the exhibition. The mirrors also reflected patterns of ambient light into the room. These changed hour-to-hour, day-to-day. The raised gold leaf floor also reflected the changing character of the light. I inserted a high stone threshold at the door.

The hall entrance to the octagonal room was designed so that only one person could view the room at a time and so that they could not be observed while doing so. The baffle wall in front of the short hall access had two viewfinders--one on either side--that were aligned with each other by a glass tube. The view from the tree wound was aligned with the window; the ‘eye’ in the oak board was directed to the larger gallery. The gold-floored room was not meant to be entered, but it proved to be so tempting to people that the museum had to have the gallery guard protect the installation.