Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Edison Impluvium

The Edison Impluvium at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery
I had the great experience of assisting artist Keith Edmier in creating the Edison Impluvium in late 2015. The work itself is a sprawling installation which stands as a duplicate of the Edison estates concrete swimming pool in Fort Myers and functions as a self portrait of the artist smeared out across time. The duplicate of the Edison pool rested in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery allowing visitors to walk in at floor level. Along the walls of the pool were 48 masks taken from various personalities (life casts) which touched Edmier's life and work. In the gallery of masks are several life casts of Edmier himself at various ages as well as a cast of his mother and father (placed at the beginning of the time line). The parade of personas ends with a cast of Edmier at age 48.

Cast of artist Keith Edmier at age 48.

Tom and Beverly Edmier from left to right.
One of the most interesting things about this work was that many of the people represented on the walls of the pool are alive and some are not living but two of the people represented actually passed from living to dead during the coarse of the exhibition. Those two people, David Bowie and actor Brooke McCarter, present a haunting testimony to the passage of time and mortality. This message is present in the work on all levels, with its time line and aging self portraits of Edmier.
Cast of David Bowie
Cast of Brooke McCarter
                                              Another feature of the installation appears on the railing of the stairway which leads to the "ground level"- this sacrificial anode (below). The anode is present at the true pool site at Edison's estate and is duplicated here with the corrosion that such a piece of zinc would "absorb" over time. There is a poetry to this work that is very difficult to relate but the anode reinforces the overall concerns of the installation in its manifestation perfectly.
Zinc sacrificial anode                                              

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