A Platform For Viewing. BMOCA
Landscape travel ritualizes westward expansion and manifest destiny. The large wooden viewpoint/walkway is a sculptural structure made of untreated lumber and the floor of the gallery space itself that explores the architecture of museum.
It moves up and down and dictates the flow of traffic throughout the space. It engages with the modern architecture of landscape tourism. It maps the physical passage through space of a walker, traveler, a tourist. It unifies experience. In a national park, the walkway curates the nature experience and tells us where to take a picture—how to understand a view. The line of a trail defines a border between mankind and nature—it is a passage—a drawing on a landscape that is a manifestation of wilderness, of frontier, and of memory. Something fundamental to being American is travel through the landscape—this takes the form of immigration, hiking, road trips, and national park tourism.
By removing sections of the wooden floor of the museum to make the floor of the decking, the structure is strongly aligned with the invisible pathways a patron makes as she walks from painting to painting. It also aligns the interior of the museum to an exterior, landscape-type experience. Furthermore, the act of removing the floor opens up a window into the basement of the museum.
Standing on the platform changes the experience of the architecture and of the art viewing. Opening floor-windows into the basement changes the shape of the space and the way it is perceived both conceptually and visually. It also reveals the ‘back area’ of the museum. It gives a viewer the opportunity to see the storage and the institutional workings of the museum as an aesthetic experience. Including the performance of the museum employee working in the archive.
The entire action makes present the rhetorical action of viewing and experience. It is an exploration of landscape and museum and institutional architecture as a rhetorical device. The sculpture creates ambiguity between architecture and sculpture, between museum viewership and an experience of the institutional structure, and ambiguity in its role as a sculpture or as a device for viewing the art of others.