The Walker’s Cargill Lounge is currently altered by a site-specific installation by artist Chris Larson, part of The Spectacular of Vernacular. Looming and curious, the nature of the piece invites viewers to contemplate its function. Certainly there are common inquiries that arise. And there are remarks that run in similar sentiments to one another. Artist-specified solitary experiences monitored by Visitor Services staff reveal other, more personal responses to the structure. Quiet observations rooted in visitors’ past are often brought forth by the very scent of the wood. One woman stood near the structure quietly recalling childhood time spent with her carpenter father. Memories of shop classes and kids’ forts are commonly revived after experiencing this work that Larson calls Unnamed. Other observations stem from a feeling that took over while inside the structure. A Hong Kong resident talked about the peacefulness inside, reminded all the while of quiet time spent at islands near his home. (See other views here and here.)
Someone else described ascending the stairs and walking west toward the window as a parallel to birth and moving through one’s life to the unknown. Another observer denoted the dupes the piece put her through, finally acknowledging she can’t get to heaven through the back door, due to being stopped by the glass. “Totally deflated I walk back down the fake sunny non-sunned stairs,” she wrote. Yet another remarked at that same visual perspective by denoting “If those dots [regarding the dots on the glass] weren’t there, I swear I could just walk off into nothingness.” There are other sentiments expressed that have more to do with the installation’s state of being, a favorite of which is, “This reminds me of being in a barn after a tornado went through. Beautiful, smells wonderful, and…scary.”
Unnamed is on view through May 8.
Deborah Meyer is a photographer based in Minneapolis, MN and Merida, Yucatan who also maintains a part time position at Walker Art Center, the two vantage points being her inspiration and source for observation-making at Chris Larson’s Unnamed.