A Forgetting Place

A Forgetting Place is a site specific installation I created for DEMO Project, Springfield, IL, in 2017. Below are installation images and a statement about the work. The work grows from my Studiolo project.

Due to its modest size, I see the back gallery space of DEMO Project as originally being a bedroom. Here, previous residents would lie down after a long day, rest and forget. Sleep allows the mind to clear space, tidy and make way for new memories and experiences. Toxins that develop throughout the day are also purged, while important memories are reinforced. Additionally, the doorway to the room acts as a threshold, the crossing of which has been proven to cause people to forget via the cleansing “doorway effect.”

The installation of the work within the space shifts the viewer’s orientation to horizontal (that of sleep). The cast paper floorboards and other objects are made from paper pulp — recycled failed drawings and other papers — as a reference to cognitive reprocessing. The objects are an enigmatic reference to the solidification of memories and purging of toxins that take place during sleep.

Converted into a gallery space and scoured of much of its history, the back gallery itself seems to be in a process of forgetting. And with its impending demolition, it is a space that is in flux, on the verge of transforming yet again (or being forgotten). It is an ideal space for contemplation to go hand in hand with forgetting: a forgetting place.