The Text of Time

This piece is a playful inquiry into our concept of time. It does not begin with a consciously constructed concept of time, like watches, or tenses in language, or conversations of past, present, and future. Instead, it tries to make obvious the unconscious automatic effects of time that are part of our everyday language system. 

The piece is a 15’ long box mounted on four metal horses. The skin of the box is made of layers of antique wallpaper. Like in an old house, different layers and levels of wallpaper are visible exposing some of the history of the surface. On the top of the box there are four lines of words that were fashionable in their own day. The viewer approaches from either end. From one direction the viewer moves from the present to the past, and from the other direction, from the past to the present. 

When a museum viewer sees historic paintings she can recognize her own humanity in the work while experiencing, perhaps unconsciously, that the painting is not of her time. This piece is meant to evoke for the viewer a conscious experience of time through language.