Open now through until the end of the year is Monochrome, a full region installation on three levels, designed and built by Giovanna Cerise. It’s a hard piece to quantify – if indeed it requires quantifying. Spread over its three levels, it presents three different environments / structures, offered in black, white and red respectively.
The black element is located at ground level, facing the landing point, with a teleport door providing to the next level – white – which then connects to the upper, red level. There is no specific windlight for the installation; visitors are encouraged to experiment with different times of day / settings.
Sitting over the water, the Black level presents a series of cubic and rectangular boxes rising into the sky, some interlinked and stacked like great square hills. Their walls are phantom, allowing visitors to walk or fly through them (watch out for transparent floors when flying up!). Slender metal spars rise up around them, while string like strands loop through the air, threaded with cubes of their own.
At the centre of all this are three tall, cube-headed female figures. One stands threading a cube onto another metal-like strand, which is being fed to her by the seated and kneeling figures. One of these holds a pair of scissors, ready to cut the strand, presumably so it can also be set floating in the air once a suitable number of cubes have been threaded.
The pattern of cube-like rooms is repeated on the White level – only this time the cubes all occupy just one level, spread like a vast building across a white plain. Phantom in nature, they can again be walked through, only this time their walls can also be seen through from both sides. Once their bounds, this gives the feeling of being in some vast maze, one where many of the rooms have large magnifying glasses standing in their centres, while others are empty. Wandering through them, it is exceptionally easy to lose one’s sense of direction.
And on the upper Red level, lies a mass of red cubes, as if caught in a swirling wind lifting them into the air. At their centre is a red mass, like a congealed lump of spilled paint, on which four red figures appear caught in the same vortex, being pulled apart from the head down, their broken bodies rising and twirling together within the vortex, becoming a single strand rising into the sky, eventually to bind the spine of a huge red notebook.
All three levels offer intriguing montages. They challenge us to quantify them according to our own perception, by challenging that very perception as we study them each in turn. Is the binding of the book on the Red level really being drawn from the figures below, for example, or is it slowly unravelling from the book to fall and become those figures? And if it is, does this not alter our thinking about what is being portrayed here?
- Monochrome (rated: Moderate)