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The Topography of Text

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Shown at MINT Gallery, the Topography of Text (2016) is an installation inspired by the text of a letter written by a relative of the artist to his wife’s nephew in England in the mid 19th century as the basis for an installation of concrete, photographic transfers and 3D printed log cabins. The letter covers many rich topics including a description of the life of a farmer, why person should come to the United States and the current political climate. The installation mediates the content of the letter into a multi dimensional experience of the text. The blocks of concrete reference the interlocking joints of the log cabin and becomes a formal and metaphoric motif in the installation. The text is taken directly from the letter and cast in relief in the concrete blocks. The viewer must fill in the gaps from the text and reconstruct its meaning based on their experience with the installation. The photographs are transfers from film stills of the artist’s late father and paternal grandfather. The ghostly images evoke feelings of distance and loss. The installation is about the constructed experience of text and memory; the loop of meaning that comes together to create our sense of reality and place in the world.