Nest #72, 30" x 30", latex print on canvas, 2017

Nest #72, 30" x 30", latex print on canvas, 2017

Nests of departing

During the summer of 2017 I was at an artist residency in upstate NY and spent a lot of time at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). One evening when I was leaving I walked past a water tower that had these amazing patterns of wear on it. I went back the next day to find out about it and photograph it.

In 2013 the massive water tower had been covered in 500 convex mirrors as part of an installation by Marco Remec titled, Can’t Hear You (Fat Totem). About the piece I read, The mirrors’ usual use for safety and security is abandoned, the tower becoming a dizzying, world-absorbing spectacle.” The mirrors had been taken down in 2016 and what was left echoed a feeling I was having as I was 3000 miles away from my five year old twins. The feeling also related to the Remec piece that wasn’t there any more.

The circle, the nest that I provide for my kids, the containment of their physical bodies and their feelings, the protection I provide them from the outside world, the ways at any particular instant that there is something filling that space, what they bring in from the world, and how the purpose of the space is for it to be grown out of, how even when I am 3000 miles from them I feel them and their absence from my physical space.

What I saw on the water tower, in the absence of Remec’s safety mirrors, was the imprint of time, how a thing there leaves a mark when gone. Being a mother is the same.