Kianga Ford: Landscapes and Interiors

 

 

The Warehouse Gallery

January 15 – March 9, 2009

 

Landscapes and Interiors is a set of installations with sound that explore the contemporary Syracuse landscape and the potential of its spaces to create communities out of relative strangers. The three zones of the exhibition transition from exterior landscapes to interior spaces, crossing between the spaces of the sacred and profane to re-create the dynamics of contemporary urbanity—blending the deep interiors of the religious sanctuary with the VIP rooms of strip clubs, the food court with the bus stop.

In Landscapes, Syracuse, 2008 houses of worship take on their own point of view in a set of narrative landscape “paintings,” while the fantasy domains of strip clubs are reduced to a set of architectural plans in a collaboration with Syracuse University School of Architecture faculty member Scott Ruff.

Also installed in the main gallery, Hymns for Post-Industry—Congregation No. 1 is a sound experiment and video projection. Generated from the texts of local developers, the “hymn” will be projected onto the entryway of the Sanctuary, much as the lyrics to devotional songs are now so commonly projected in the sanctuaries of places of worship. The audience will be invited to lend their own voices to the experiment as they gather.

Playing on the search for sanctuary that runs though Syracuse’s history, from its participation in the Underground Railroad to its contemporary role in refugee resettlement, and its position as one of the U.S. cities with the highest number of churches per capita, the installation, Sanctuary, offers a place of respite. Proposing the church and the strip club as complementary prototypes for the urban lounge, the Muzak-scored* zone creates a place for ideal connections within the gallery environment.

The final piece, homage to the private VIP lounge, is an installation for the bathroom at The Warehouse Gallery. Interview with Reality, is a video interview with a local dancer who goes by the stage name “Reality.” Sober and candid about her work, Reality’s discussion of her field and its relationship to her own brand of spirituality is intercut with scenes of her performing. The soundtrack SpaceTrash—The Stripper’s Cut is composed and performed by Reality herself.

Ford’s new body of work is a meditation on the condition of the post-industry world, its economics, and the boundaries and relations that are influenced by both.

*The NuLounge soundtrack is part of Muzak’s program of audio architecture and has been generously donated for the run of the exhibition

 

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