Anxiety about remembered trauma leads one to obsess over memories and project them into the future, which creates the appearance that one’s life is comprised of little beyond these memories. Thus one freezes into a post-traumatic state. Chrysalis explores and exemplifies stagnation at the intersection of anxiety and memory.

           Chrysalis contemplates how one’s being consumed and distracted by memory might actually propel change and encourage construction of one’s future. One may contemplate and learn from an obsession with or anxiety about memory. Stagnation in memory is actually a gestation period or a pause, and not an end.

          This installation is evocative of a chrysalis, womb, or bean. The chrysalis, womb, and bean contain life and facilitate transformation, yet are isolating and protective, and appear dead, unmoving, and self-contained. They limit the movement and outside contact of the inhabitant yet also eventually force the transformed inhabitant back out into the world. Chrysalis alludes to these objects to suggest that the viewers may also break out of stagnated mindsets.

          Chrysalis includes a collaborative notebook on the subject of stagnation to articulate the subtle collaborative nature of the seemingly isolating space. The notebook serves a critical role in quietly creating inertia by allowing viewers to meld introspective rumination (by writing about one’s own stagnation) with new information (by reading others’ thoughts). Additionally, a film plays outside to keep the inhabitants both sitting/ waiting and subtly engaged with the world outside the sculpture. This film was created in collaboration (with artist Sergey Levitskiy).

          Chrysalis is a manmade protective yet semipermeable space allowing time and thought for almost-private transformation. Though isolating and constricting, its translucency emphasizes the impermanence of any waiting period and the impermanent nature of obsessive memory.


Steel, cheesecloth, glycerin soap, thread, paper, charcoal, ink, collaborative film 7.5ft x4.5ft x4.5ft 2016