Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rachel Whiteread

Pairing up nicely with my own interests in light and human activity, this is an installation that was recently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is called Place (Village), from 2006/8 and consists of 200 vintage hand-made dollhouses lit from inside. It also included 6 additional sculptures and 15 drawings by the artist, Rachel Whiteread. I've seen her cast works in various places and enjoyed them but have not seen this kind of work from her before. Electric light is definitely an indication of human presence...! I read the book "Devil in the White City" recently, to learn that the first time most ordinary people had ever seen (or heard of) incandescent electric light was at the world fair in Chicago in 1933. Now we take it utterly for granted - I'm glad about that but it makes you think. Wonder when these dollhouses were made... some of them constructed possibly by gaslight, or candle light.