For here, or to go? Diners in Peirce Hall recently were asked to consider this common coffee shop query as they passed by a paper-cup sculpture temporarily installed in the dining hall.
The work was created by Shannon Hart ’18, an economics major from Harare, Zimbabwe. Hart completed the sculpture, titled “To-go or to-stay,” as part of an installation art course with Professor of Art Claudia Esslinger. Her work examines how an on-the-go lifestyle is associated with mass consumption. Hart gathered dozens of paper cups and compiled them into a sculpture that, when viewed through a window in Peirce Hall, appears to be a silhouette of a person sipping a mug of coffee.
“Paper cups are a perfect example of the enormous waste that is associated with our ‘to-go’ lifestyle of grabbing coffee and dashing off to our next pressing appointment, with little time to spare over conversations with and concern for our close-knit community,” Hart wrote in her artist’s statement. “What if we slowed life down a little and sat and listened to the people around us, wrapping our palms around a warm ceramic cup, refusing to leave until we could see the dark coffee residue at the bottom of the mug?”
In addition to Hart, six other student artists created temporary art installations designed to engage the Kenyon community. They ranged from a wax display in Peirce Hall to a musical installation near Rosse Hall. Their projects are described here and pictured in a photo gallery, below.
Rose Bishop ’17, an art history major from Sag Harbor, New York, explored the nature of creativity within a mathematical structure in her installation, “Sound & Vision.” She placed motion-triggered sound systems near Carl Milles’ “Playing Angels” outside Rosse Hall. When observers stood in front of an angel, the sound system produced a note in the pentatonic scale.
In her Gund Commons installation, “Time Frame,” Emma Brown ’17, a studio art major from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, explored how memories overlap within a specific physical space. Brown hung framed recreations of photographs originally taken in Gund Commons and invited observers to peer through them to envision both the space when the photo was originally taken and the space as it currently stands.
For her untitled piece, located in Peirce Hall’s Thomas Hall, Hannah Celli ’17, an American studies major from New York City, wanted to ask questions about personal and political ideas of freedom. She drew upon the symbolic Passover meal for inspiration, replacing sacred objects of the Passover Seder with other objects coated in wax that are intended to spur thoughts about slavery and oppression.
Zoe Chrissos ’18, a studio art major from Ann Arbor, Michigan, wanted to examine the way spaces are used and collectively remembered on campus. In her project, “What Once Was and Is,” Chrissos used green-screen technology to give the illusion of herself “painting” historical images of Kenyon buildings and then “unpainting” the images. These videos, projected in a Ransom Hall window on a 10-minute loop, were accompanied by audio recordings of students reading content about the buildings.
An installation by Sarah Dendy ’19 of Phoenix featured a familiar sight to many on campus: their own names. Using her own version of binomial nomenclature, Dendy wrote the names of Kenyon faculty, staff and students on slips of paper attached to natural materials such as acorn shells. Dendy then arranged these on a table set up along Middle Path.
In his installation, “Work Is Progress,” Lewis Turley ’17, a sociology major from Bethesda, Maryland, challenges viewers to take a different view of construction sites and to consider the factors that enable or limit construction. Over the course of two weeks, Turley used fencing, stakes and a wooden frame to create a construction site for a fictitious building behind Peirce Hall.