1.3 The Influences
The photograph my father had taken of my brother and me in front of the television set would also act as a conceptual blueprint for VP2. It was after all this particular black and white photograph, which evoked my recent realization of how the transmutable intersections that exist between memory, objects, technology, and humans, could trigger chimerical experiences.
The thematic and structural approach to VP2 was also partially influenced by the American Neo-Dadaist artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) who explored the possibilities of combining found objects and materials in his Combine Series (1953-1964) (see Image 04 below).
In an interview with Rosetta Brooks, Rauschenberg speaks of his process
(I) wanted something other than what I could make myself and I wanted to use the surprise and the collectiveness and the generosity of finding surprises. And if it wasn’t a surprise at first, by the time I got through with it, it was. So the object itself was changed by its context and therefore it became a new thing” (par. 2).Rosetta Brooks Interviews Robert Rauschenberg, accessed 2010, 2018
“This juxtaposition of objects towards an accumulative surprise and a new thing,” as Rauschenberg suggests, occurs around us on a continual basis and is something which also intrigued me while developing VP2.
However, unlike Rauschenberg’s Combine Series, where the juxtaposition of objects were restricted to self-contained works, VP2 incorporats the objects into a site-specific, immersive, installation, encompassing an area of over nine thousand cubic feet (25’W x 15’H x 18’D) – integrating walls, ceiling, floor, windows, ceiling lights and radiators as integral parts of the accumulative surprise.
The merging of these elements made it difficult to distinguish where the intended real – the building’s architecture and fixed objects began and where the fictionalized reality of the artist’s encoded space ended.
Electrical wires which were embedded into the VP2’s floor, weaved their way across the hall, connecting to VP2’s sister installation The X-Series (VP1).
Below are links to texts related to The Skinning of Memory (VP2) Installation that were published as part of my MFA Thesis, 2010. Specific segments have been revised and updated for this post. John Naccarato, 2022