Title: Passages: Purification/Proliferation
- Divide the box into two halves. The two halves will remain separate within the installation. Throughout these guidelines they will be referred to as “the smaller half” and “the larger half” (in reference to their relative weight and bulkiness).
- Cover the smaller half of the box with the black cloth, so that the square hole in the cloth matches the wooden piece on the internal middle panel. Affix the white cardbord square on the wooden piece, at the very centre of the internal middle panel, so that the sides of the square are parallel to each side of the panel.
- Affix the white sheet square that has velcro on its four corners to the corresponding velcro pieces on the external middle panel of the smaller half.
- Cut small pieces of velcro from the band included in the box (leaving enough of it for the next museum!) and stick them on the external panels of the larger half of the box, mirroring the way they are arranged on the external panels of the smaller half.
- Affix the family picture with no white square at the very centre of the external central panel of the larger half of the box; affix the 4 family pictures with a white square on them at the very centre of the 4 remaining external panels (i.e. the right- and left-hand panels of the smaller and larger halves).
- Hang the two halves of the box in accordance with the images enclosed, using the holes in the upper edge of the larger half and the holes in the closing mechanism on the upper edge of the smaller half (it has to pass through the black cloth).
- Hanging specifications: the distance between the two parts of the installation must be sufficient for the two halves to almost, but not quite, come together, when motioned towards each other. Even when brought together to the fullest extent there should be about 50cm between the two hanging pieces. The distance from the ground to the lower edge of the halves should be 130cm.
- Place the sign that reads “Purify” on the ground below the smaller half of the box; place the sign “Proliferate” on the ground below the larger half of the box. Each sign should be placed so that the viewer facing the inside of each box can read it. Place the arrows next to each of these signs so that they point towards the other half (i.e., the one next to “proliferate” points to “purify” and vice-versa).
- Hang the headphones on the handle on the external left-hand panel of the smaller half; connect the headphones to the audio device and play the audio file on the USB stick in a loop throughout the exhibition.
- Screw the two red hooks in the holes on the front edges of the larger half, so that the hook’s opening faces the ground; screw the red rings in the holes on the external right- and left-hand external panels of the smaller half, so that the ring is parallel to the ground level.
- Create a 180cm long and 60cm wide passageway leading to the space in between the two halves, using black duct tape. Place the black plinth on the left-hand side of the passageway. Place the vase on top of the plinth and fill it with the white dried cheese curds. Place the gourd, mouth up, on the mouth of the vase.
- Hang the string of tea leaves from the ceiling so that the distance from it to the gourd is 60cm.
- Place the sign that reads ‘Drink’ on the ground between the passageway and the plinth so that the viewer standing on the passageway and facing the gourd may read it.
- Brewing instructions: following instructions on the box of “Runa Guayusa Tea.”
- Keep brewed tea in a thermos (that will not be part of the exhibit), and use this to keep the gourd bowl filled with tea. Care should be taken so that the tea in the bowl is warm.
What does the installation do:
This installation invites passage between two ways of cultivating worlds: proliferation and purification.
Proliferation cultivates a multiplication of things, relations and concepts; purification cultivates a doing away with them. As proliferation tends towards accumulation, reproduction and hoarding, purification tends towards simplification, divorcing and eradication. Both proliferation and purification are the outcomes of studious work and often act as possible passageways to one another.
The two suspended parts of the installation are organized as mirroring spaces of proliferation and purification. The space of proliferation invites immersion into layered networks of proliferating relationships with people, places, patterns, parts, and possessions. The space of purification evokes, through sight and sound, the possibility of absence and renewal.
Upon entering the installation, participants are invited to drink Guayasa from the gourd placed on top of the vase. Guayasa tea, an Amazonian drink from Ecuador is used by the Runa to help them recall, reflect on and interpret their dreams. It is consumed collectively, in the middle of the night, after having slept for several hours. After drinking the tea people will sit by the fire by themselves or with others, lie in their beds or weave. It produces a state of expansive, alert reflective calmness.
Within this installation, the Guayasa tea opens a field for the viewer to be affected. The beverage is meant to help her project herself into the two contrasted environments that are arranged for her in this installation, in a persistant oscillation between pulsions of proliferation and purification, The viewer is invited, through this device, to explore these two modes of cultivating worlds as well as how they also collapse into one another. By drinking this tea and experiencing the kinds of “worlds” proposed in this installation, participants are invited to reshuffle relationships into a fresh engagement with their own world.
NB: the “viewer” may wear the box.
Size / scale of the installation:
This is a “personal sensorium”. Its scale moves between that which might be considered one individual´s personal space, and the space of wordly interaction.