2-channel projection, 175 plaster-cast bird wings, 175 plaster-cast wing bones, plywood
Invisible Visible explores relationships between systems rendered invisible that exist all around us. A multi-disciplinary project including sculpture and video installation, photography, and writings, created as an act of acknowledgment for the many lives involved in factory farming: the chickens and the workers, together subjected to the suffering created by our industrial food system.
Listen to INVISIBLE VISIBLE written and read by Katherine Kassouf Cummings
Catherine Edelman Gallery
Chicago, Illinois, July - September, 2020
Riverside Art Center
Riverside, Illinois, January - February, 2021
Installation: two-channel video projection with plaster-cast sculptures and plywood platforms and walls. Channel one: black and white video projection, plaster wings passed from hand to hand in seeming endless succession. A second channel is a mapped projection atop rows of plaster-cast sculptures; images of red, raw chicken bird wing bones appearing and disappearing, as breathing. Flanking the wings are an assembly of chalk white bones cast from a wing bone. This delicate line of bones mirrors the physical experience of workers in a slaughterhouse, standing in compact rows. The fragile plaster-casts were created as a gesture of honor and acknowledgment of fellow living beings. In the ritual of making, each one became a prayer. Plywood, a material ubiquitous in labor-intensive industry, subverts the common use as barrier and instead becomes a canvas of unity. The plywood platform and the walls encase the rows of wings that become markers for 175 chickens. 175 is the rate of birds killed every 60 seconds in factory slaughter in the US.
In the installation hangs a newsprint poster, bound into a pad, with writings attending to the question of what makes the invisible visible. The writer describes a practice of attention, witness, and vision for relating with, and welcoming into view, the invisible. The reader traverses through stories that lead to the interior, beyond the visible and back through imagining. Posters of the writing are to be torn from the pad or listened to via an on-line recording, and all experiencing this work are invited to absorb the writings—to take the stories with them—and carry the question out into the world.
Riverside Art Center, January 2021