type C photographs, drywall, metal studs, slide projector and video equipment, fabric
Two large photographs of a transparent man and woman illustrate human organ systems. Cadaver trays contain similar photos of body parts, and the floor is strewn with other images. Two TV monitors provide yet another layer of information: one monitor displays a live shot of the slide projections being shown as the visitor enters the space, while the other monitor runs a video of slide projections previously shown.
The installation begins behind a blue curtain. The curtain provides an opening to a kind of studio. Tables, fixed walls, and two rolling walls are constructed from metal studs and unfinished drywall. Photos of body parts hang in fromt of the blue fabric curtains. Piles of photos and tracing paper lie carelessly on the tables. The space is always in flux during the exhibition. The artist reorders the layering of information by moving objects around, tracing new images, and putting new images on top of photos.
The space is meant to suggest the idea of activity itself rather than the idea of a finished product or position. All of the elements of construction and creation have been left visible and nothing has been made permanent. Every item has been fabricated concentrating on its function or implied function within the space, not its existence as object. This sense of transience and residual activity concentrates our experience on the idea of process rather than outcome.
The process of creating this space has been a dance between the tendency to impose and articulate meaning and the ability to allow meaning and significance to exist in a purer form through activity.
This installation is an investigation of “other ways of knowing.” The basic idea was to create a space where the participant could suspend his or her relationship to the outside world and allow the physical and non-physical residue of an urgent and obsessive activity to determine the significance of the space… Each element was chosen for its implied reference to an idea or activity to determine the significance of the space…each element was chosen for its implied reference to an idea or activity: blue fabric for its reference to theater, religion, ritual and performance; steel tables for their reference to the clinical, the scientific; a model for its reference to transcendence beyond the physical… Photography was chosen as the means of investigation for its capacity to quickly document material with an implied truthfulness. The fact that these images are of plastic organs and that photography has nothing to do with truth creates tension between what is known and what is understood. Robert Beckman received his BFA in Studio Printmaking from Kent State University. He holds a MFA in Experimental and Traditional Printmaking; Photo / Screen / Electrostatic / Intaglio from Kent State University and has been working as a printmaker and artist for over 30 years.