Post Modern (2019-2020) is part of an ongoing, site-specific, interactive public art project at the Modern Hotel in Boise, Idaho. It invites visitors to rotate the infinite scroll to reveal all six images contained on its loop.
A loop of self-referential half-truths. Post Modern is a reference to historical architecture, in response to modernism, and inspired by what came before. These concrete props, disembodied hands, and colorful backdrops arranged for a fleeting moment when the shutter opens and closes. Organized as a never-ending circle and built knowing that everything which has happened before, will happen again. Pulling from popular culture and social trends, inspired by the resurgence of Postmodern aesthetics, and erected to build narratives upon other narratives.
When this project first began, I was wondering: Does truth become arbitrary when the memory has been lost or forgotten, or worse, intentionally let go? Do the little parts of our story which are left behind, stay alive as fact or fiction? Are the stories we tell for an audience of one, or many? Is there one author to the story or multiple contributors? Are we progressing or regressing? Does history always repeat itself?
During this project, I found inspiration in the architecture, responding to Modernism: Postmodernism. I wanted to think about their conflicting ideas. Knowledge vs. Truth. Inclusive vs. Exclusive. Progress vs. Past. This struggle seems as relevant now as it did decades ago. I wanted to make something that seemed simple, colorful, and easy, yet charged with questions.
In pure Postmodernist form, the title is a play on words. This work pulls from the history of the building (mid-century Travelodge), the business (Modern Hotel), past versions of this scroll, recent events that happened on-site, my relationship to the place, and my study of architecture from the 1970s-1990s.
Often, working in metal, I think about how objects interact with our bodies or spaces. The objects in this series first started as an attraction, then a sketch, then a clay sculpture, then a silicone mold, then a concrete cast, then a digital photograph, and then ultimately this scroll, each stage in my process devolving from the original attraction.
Ultimately, these images show an order of truth-seeking after the root of its origin has been lost. You’re invited to turn the infinite scroll and search for the answer.
**A special acknowledgment to the artists who came before me on this project. Grant Olsen who originally conceived this rotating public art project back in 2014, and Kerry Tullis, Robert Tullis, Tomas Montano, Troy Passey, and Kirsten Furlong who all shared their work in this context. Thank you to the Modern Hotel in Boise, Idaho for supporting such a cool project.