Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - The Lost Fight

9.5" x 13.75" x 1.25"
Encyclopedia volume, lead, metal paint
Blind embossing

Primo Levi, the Italian Jewish chemist and writer, wrote the unique work, The Periodic Table (1975)linked to qualities of the elements, which the Royal Institution of Great Britain named the best science book ever written.

His essay on lead has always moved me, and I find it particularly appropriate to my project.

"There and then I found a hammer and a curbstone and showed him how easy it is to fashion it into slabs and sheets; then I explained to him that with the sheets, welding them on one side with a red-hot iron, you could make pipes.  I told him that wooden pipes for example, the rain pipes in that town Sales, leak and rot; I explained to him that bronze pipes are hard to make and when they are used for drinking water cause stomach trouble, and that instead lead pipes last forever and can be joined together very easily. Putting on a solemn face, I also took a random shot and explained to him that with a sheet of lead you can also line coffins for the dead, so that they don't grow worms but become dry and thin, and so the soul too is not dispersed, which is a fine advantage; and still with lead you can cast small funeral statues, not shiny like bronze, but in fact a bit dark, a bit subdued, as is suitable to objects of mourning. 

Since I saw that these matters interested him greatly, I explained that, if one goes beyond appearances, lead is actually the metal of death: because it brings on death, because its weight is a desire to fall, and to fall is a property of corpses, because its very color is dulled-dead, because it is the metal of the planet Tuisto, which is the slowest of the planets, that is, the planet of the dead. I also told him that in my opinion, lead is a material different from all other materials, a metal which you feel is tired, perhaps tired of transforming itself and that does not want to transform itself anymore: the ashes of who knows how many other elements full of life, which thousands upon thousands of years ago were burned in their own fire. 

These are things I really think; it is not that I invented them to close the deal.  That man, whose name was Borvio, listened to all this with his mouth agape, and then he told me that it really must be as I said, and that that planet is sacred to a god who in his town was called Saturn and is depicted with a scythe."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 9 - What Dies Inside

(sorry, forgot to take a picture of the finished book)

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, lead, wire, porcelain
Blind embossing
9.5" x 13.25" x 7.5"

Death is not the most painful loss in life. The most painful loss is what dies inside us while we're still alive.

Quote by Nishan Panwar

Chapter 10 - The Biggest Loss 

9.5" x 13.25" x 1"
Encyclopedia volume, gesso, lead, photographs
Blind embossing, transfers

One psychological element has been established beyond reasonable doubt, and that is the concept of loss. Loss in all of its manifestations is the touchstone of depression. In the progress of the disease and, most likely, in its origin.

Passage from Darkness Visible by William Styron. I can really relate to this passage; for me loss of control and loss of myself were the biggest and most devastating elements of my illness.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chapters 7 and 8

Chapter 7 - The Devastation Taking Place in my Mind

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, wire, lead
Blind embossing
9.5" x 13.25" x 9.5"

Depression is Anger turned inward

Quote by Sapphire, Push. Ramona Lofton (born August 4, 1950), better known by her pen name Sapphire, is an American author and performance poet. A film based on her novel premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. It was renamed Precious to avoid confusion with the 2009 action film Push.

Chapter 8 - Solitude

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, toothpicks, string
Blind embossing
9.5" x 13.25" x 1.75"

I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone. 

Excerpt from Catcher in the Rye by Jerome David Salinger (January 1, 1919 – January 27, 2010) an American writer who won acclaim early in life. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers.

Chapters 4, 5 and 6

Chapter 4 - Loneliness

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, lead, lead type
Blind embossed
9.5" x 12.75" x 2.5"

There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain, what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.

Chapter 5 - The Body Knows

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, lead, metal paint, bandages
Blind embossed
9.5" x 13" x 1.5"

DEPRESSION - one word to describe a mountain of pain. One word to steal the light from a person's soul and leave them stranded in a cold, gray landscape, alone and searching for something they couldn't even name. -Unknown

Chapter 6 - Hopelessness

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, card board, text
Hand stamped text
9.5" x 13.25" x 2"

In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come- not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.

Quote by William Clark Styron, Jr. (June 11, 1925 – November 1, 2006), an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work. In 1985, he suffered his most serious bout with depression. Out of this grave and menacing experience, he was later able to write the memoir Darkness Visible (1990), the work Styron became best known for during the last two decades of his life.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The first chapters

This installation is set up as a book with chapters. The way the book goes from chapter to chapter depicts the depression progress in my experience.

The Book

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, metal paint.
Hand-cut Stencil
9.5" x 6.5" x 1.5"

Table of Contents

Encyclopedia volume, gesso.
Blind embossed.
9.5" x 12" x 1.25"

Chapter 1 - This Poisonous Mood

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, lead, lead type
Blind Embossed
9.5" x 13" x 1.125"

This leaden and poisonous mood the color of verdigris, 
so incongruous in the midst of the lush New England summer.

Quote by Romain Gary, (21 May 1914 – 2 December 1980), born Romain Kacew, and known by the pen name Émile Ajar, was a French diplomat, novelist, film director and World War II aviator of Litvak origin. Gary died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 2 December 1980 in Paris, France.  

Chapter 2 - Sorrow Swims

Encyclopedia volume, gesso, lead, metal paint, glass
Blind embossed
9.5" x 12.75" x 5.5"

People who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to swim.

Quote by Ann Landers - Esther Pauline "Eppie" Lederer (née Friedman; July 4, 1918 – June 22, 2002), better known by the pen name Ann Landers, was an American advice columnist and eventually a nationwide media celebrity who began her career writing the 'Ask Ann Landers' column in 1955.

Chapter 3 - Slow Descent

Not finished yet!