Valerie Wedel

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Installation Art

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The Undoing

Bingham Gallery, University of Missouri, 2007, 66’ x 34’x10' - entire gallery
This installation consisted of projected scrolling text from two projectors onto 3,000 individual “poufs” of melted translucent fabric hung by monofilament in a cloud-like formation. The projected weaving text read, “This is an undoing....... Undue desire....... I want to be undone, touch the undoing,” and meandered over the fabric like moonlight on nighttime clouds or like sunrays reflecting on jellyfish. On the thousands of lines of monofilament, the projection appeared as rain or bubbles. Many people likened the sensation to being inside an electrical storm, yet with a sense of tranquility. A bed of 1,500 pounds of black oil sunflower seeds invited viewers to lie down and look up at the projections. The light upon the seeds resembled sunlight shining down to the bottom of the sea. Sounds resembling waves engulfed the space. I performed in one corner of the gallery, harvesting sunflower seeds and interacting with visitors in various ways. I would walk up to them carrying seeds in the folds of my dress, people occasionally scooping them out. Or I might dump seeds on their feet and smile at them. A number of people used the piece as a sanctuary or meditation space. Response to my performance ranged from feelings of joy and connection to perceiving the action of gently tossed seeds at one’s feet as an act of hostility.