BECCA PAD & LAUREN NIKOLAUS

PROJECT 1: ATTIC/BASEMENT, Fall 2011, Maryland Institute College of Art, Studio Center Project Space, Baltimore, MD

Their most recent piece consisted of a created basement/cellar space.  This was accomplished through installing an additional floor into the gallery.  The floor raises the viewer up with the pipes and vents along the ceiling.  Then through a second set of stairs the viewer travels below the floor, creating the allusion of being in a cellar, when in actuality the participants are on the original gallery floor.  The dark, exposed construction of the cellar submerges the viewer into a quite place of memory and pure existence, taking them back to the original curiosities of the undefined spaces of a home.

PROJECT 2: UNTITLED, Spring 2012, School 33 Art Center Project Room, Baltimore, MD

Through changing the architecture of a room, we can begin explore how space is connected to our understood perceptions of reality.  In our installation at School 33 Art Center, we intend to focus on how architecture is a facilitator of behavioral control. In this project we plan to create a staircase that wraps around the perimeter of the room. The stairs assert control over the viewer by implying a set path for the participants.  While the participant is limited to the confines of the staircase, they remain continually aware of their disconnection to the whole of the room. When one enters the space there is the possibility of walking onto the known floor, but the authority of the structure will suggest and persuade its use to the viewer. By making subtle changes in the rhythm of the stairs, we counteract this normally autonomous activity. These abnormalities instill a greater tension between the viewer’s actions and anticipations of their experience. By changing both the architecture of the room, and the understood form and function of a staircase, we allude to the effects that constructed spaces have on the psychological.

The project room at School 33 Art Center is approximately, 13 feet 8 inches wide by 11 feet 2 inches long. The staircase at its highest point will reach a maximum of 6 feet and cover a distance of 42 feet. Each section will have a railing going along the interior side of the space. Each step will be between 4 and 10 inches high and have a width and length around 20 to 22 inches.

 

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