Video Pavilion: An Environment for Four Pieces
Design-research affiliated with workshop run by William O’Brien Jr. at MIT
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2011
This installation was designed to show four video pieces by mixed media artist, Joan Jonas; an artist tangentially affiliated with certain sub-movements of minimalism and likewise at her roots associated with artists like Robert Morris, and Donald Judd—Robert Morris on the one hand, dealing with the figurative possibilities of minimalism with his works in felt, and Donald Judd on the other hand, dealing with modularity and minimalism in much of his work. Such precedent artists provided the conceptual launching point for this investigation.
The pavilion has been conceived as a sound absorptive, industrial-felt “chasm” which shapes several semi-separated chambers. Each of the chambers houses one of four video pieces. There is a sought-after figural-discrepancy in plan between (1) the interior liner of the environment, which is manipulated to produce moments of relative spatial containment, and (2) the exterior facade of the object, which at moments provides a “poker-face” to the spatial on-goings inside. The difference, or the poche with variable thickness, provides an opportunity to develop a strategy that attempts to provide two readings of the object simultaneously; one of strict-repetition, relative tautness, and accumulated flatness, and a second which reveals the variability of depth between the chutes of felt. The material system—the exterior felt, the embedded armature and the interior theatrical screen—has been developed as a relational model; the particular geometric description(s) of the chutes have a parametric relationship to the oscillations in depth, and in turn have an interdependent relationship on the spatial characteristics of the chambers.
Ali K. Qureshi