ABOUT THE LES RECONFIGURATION SERIES
“Le patrimoine” combines with materials’ physical properties to yield pieces intimately connected to the Swiss Alps. I harvested pine cones from village trees and wood from abandoned furniture and the local carpenter.
The pieces rely on and highlight the physical characteristics of their materials. I modify materials as little as possible, trying not to manipulate them beyond their inherent properties. I let the dimensions of wood scraps dictate dimensions of the piece. Pine cone scales lend themselves to staggered stacking much like wooden tiles of Swiss chalets.
The series draws on land and environmental arts where the human hand manipulates and rearranges nature, injecting order into the entropic environment. These works are short-lived, temporal, site-specific, and experiential. Though using natural materials, in contrast, my work seeks to preserve and recontextualize while being experiential in a more intimate and personal way, hung on a wall or held in one’s hands.
In the “ wunderkammer” of centuries past, preservation and private individual delight created treasure troves of “arteficialia” and “naturalia”. My works carry the same appreciation for the material wonders both manmade and natural. Everything carries some remarkable aspect making it worthy of appreciation and elevation. My process embodies this idea. I diligently prepare, store, and employ materials which in their ordinary context would not warrant even an initial glance. I treat each individually plucked pine cone scale as if it were gold.
Unlike Joseph Cornell’s surrealist assemblages, my compositions take the form of regimented compositions. Despite the formal surface, they are “memory boxes”, each containing a bit of the essence of my life in the Swiss village.