Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Helen of Genoa [Dumb Box 12]

In 1950 our family thought of my aunt Helen as the most beautiful woman in Genoa, Nebraska.  She was 29 years old, had two infants, was pregnant, and she was dying of leukemia.  I was 7 at the time and remember well visiting her in the one room that made up the town hospital, a single room above a pharmacy, where a doctor would visit at least once a week.  On the street below, farmers parked diagonally in front of the raised wooden sidewalks, took seats on the hoods of their trucks and smoked, while staring up at her window, respectful and silent.

Fellini Hires Nino Rota to Compose the Music for Juliette of the Spirits [Dumb Box 11]

Revised and improved:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Archipelago [Dumb Box 10]

Collection: Rachel Maddow and Susan Mikula

I'm not thinking about Daniel Buren.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our War with Polio [Dumb Box 09]

In 1948 my oldest brother contracted polio.  Like a lot of survivors, he became a driven personality, extremely hard-working and successful, highly motivated––he was one of the first from our high school to go to college, certainly the only at that time to attend Harvard.  What I didn't understand until many years later was the cost on the others in the family.

Collection: Susan Mikula and Rachel Maddow

Our War with Polio includes burnt cardboard inserts.

Island [Dumb Box 08]

When we were preparing to leave San Francisco, we hired a jack-of-all-trades named Otis to fix things around the house: he rehung doors, glued down loose tiles on the kitchen floor, hung a shower for the renter who preferred to have something more than a bath, touched up walls that were a bit blotchy––he seemed to be able to do anything.  "But what I really like to do," he said, "is to make architectural models."  When I heard that, I hurried downstairs to my studio and constructed out of cardboard and tape, to the same size, the boxes I'd been wanting for about a year to start working on again.  "Can you fabricate these out of wood?," I asked.  "You bet," he answered, and a day before we left for New York, he delivered the goods, which I shipped to Manhattan to work on once we got a studio.

Island has a cardboard liner and cardboard inserts.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Proscenium [Dumb Box 07]

This box is like a practically naked starlet, and to my mind, oh-so-pretty.

note: I destroyed this box in spring of 2013.

Don't Look Back [Dumb Box 6]

I shaped these boxes 'dumb' on purpose; like a mannequin, they would mean nothing until an image was laid upon them.  This one required a couple pounds of salt to fell fully "dressed."

The Rest Is Noise [Dumb Box 05]

There's so much noise in New York, almost everywhere, that it begins to work like silence.
This box has cardboard inserts, like fingers in the ears.  Not meant to be removed.  But possible.