15 December 2010

Glossolalia Installation: Sarah Ann Whitney


(Again, I apologize for the picture quality. As you can see in the top one, this installation ended up with a lamp to lend warmth to it, but I didn't get a proper close-up of it. Oh well.)

The installation for Sarah Ann Whitney was the most abstract of the six (with Emily Dow Partridge a close second). I wanted to highlight her youth, but didn't want to be too overt about it either. I had a Jacob's Ladder toy (which in finding this link I have discovered is probably an anachronism!) which references the Jacob's Ladder in the Bible. I also made five fortune tellers out of old maps, with the fortunes varying greatly from schoolgirl silliness (one featured desserts to eat) to commands (such as "compliment the next person you see" and "write a letter to that friend--you know who" to something, I hope, more profound (such as "don't be afraid to show your love" or "do not underestimate the power of a shared pot of tea". (In addition, I had ordered two antique keys from Etsy that failed to arrive in time, which I had hoped would allude to Joseph's hiding, Sarah Ann's visits with him, and all the secrets.)

While I tried not to hover over the good people who went through the exhibit, I was able to watch a few of them and noticed that most did not interact with this exhibit. I had hoped people would have found their fortunes and read those of others, but it rarely happened, although the Jacob's Ladder was picked up fairly often. If I have the opportunity to do this again, in this form, I'll have to figure out a way to make it more inviting to people to interact with the pieces. If you have any thoughts on this, please share them!

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