Apian Screen, 2010, beeswax tiles – size variable Albright Knox Art Gallery (approx. 15,000 tiles) 30ft x 35ft x30ft x 25ft h
Apian Screen, an architectural intervention like parois, comprises a series of high relief beeswax tiles which completely cover the walls, floor to ceiling enveloping the assigned space. The source imagery however, for the tiles of Apian Screen are inspired by my research into the relationship between the beehive and utopian architecture and the ideas of Gaudi, Bruno Taut, Mies van der Rohe, Olmstead, Louise Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and others. The use of beeswax as a building material creates a unity between materials and concept.
Individually the tiles reflect the scale model while collectively they transform the walls into imaginary landscapes, and imaginary cities. The scale city models exists on the vertical and extrude into the space. The topography of the walls mimic aerial maps and 3d construction and create pattern while finding form in both nature and culture.
Like parois, Apian Screen creates a somatic negotiation between spectator and space. The viewer is encouraged to enter the room and to experience the site in a multi-sensory manner. Touch is encouraged. The utopian overtones, the architectonic fantasies and the sheer joy of entering a space comprised of beeswax simultaneously compels and repels and is both intoxicating and suffocating. It fuses architecture and ornament, nature and culture, the real and the imaginary in a somatic reciprocity, a boundless disruption between expectations, the spectator and the site. The real and the imaginary conflate to form infinite metaphors and relationships that reflect the complicated nature of utopian propositions.
Selected Essays – Excerpts from a Conversation & Transient Utopias