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What makes an intentional or meaningful mark different from an accidental or “meaningless” one? How do marks made by an artist in or on a space differ from the marks made in creation of that space or in the process of past activities there? What can be surmised from past marks found and presented?
An architectural space intrinsically has some marks within its structure. Space can’t exist without marks, whether they be the gestural shape of a building, the scrape marks of spackled over holes, or the texture of sheetrock or brick. The “white box” of the gallery is supposed to be a blank slate, a space that disappears except for elements that the artist brings to light. In the gallery there is blankness, but not objectively so. Even on their own the white walls of the gallery have character, stories hidden within them that can be glimpsed in the bumps and scratches on them, some from previous purposeful, realized uses, some from accidents, some by nature of the texture of the materials that the space is made of. UBS is a space with much history. Many things have been created and destroyed here, leaving behind hints of their existence in the patches and bumps on the space. The “blank” walls may be highlighted or ignored based on what an artist chooses to put in the space.
Within the space of UBS, I have some things to discover, things to build on. I am collaborating with the building and materials and textures that make it and with marks that others have left there, marks that the white walls have absorbed.
In these pieces I attempted to create marks and areas with no form other than what they acquired via the process of being made (for example, marks of my fingertips) and from the surface they are made on (the wall and floor). They are the remnants of my explorations of the walls and the spaces of UBS. Sections on the floor and the trails of graphite beneath the installations show what accumulated as a byproduct of my process of making + the materials + the space.
I have used only materials that I can manipulate with my hands to create delicate works that are inseparable from the space that contains them. They exist in this space and would not exist as the same pieces outside of it. Without the wall the materials take up virtually no space. Condensed, they are only dust. When taken down they mingle with the dust on the floor, suddenly much smaller scale.
Their grip on the wall is secure yet delicate, highly textural but able to be brushed away with the slightest touch. Though both graphite and plaster leave behind stray black and white marks on everything they touch, at the end of the show these pieces will be swept away and painted over, leaving no mark of their own on the wall.
- Ivia Sky Yavelow -
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Yavelow, Ivia Sky, "Accumulations" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. 264.