Disbelief

Materials: plaster casts, glue, salt, monofilament
Dimensions: Variable.
Process: YouTube Video

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Dan Cameron and David Harper walked me through the Howard Gillman Opera House and the Harvey theater, one quiet weekday. As I walked through the empty halls I imagined all the many extraordinary performers that have graced these two stages. And, I saw them as ghosts floating through the building unable to let go of their greatness; basking in it’s memory. A few days later, I thought how cool if they all went swimming in a lake. And, so was born the idea for Disbelief.

I had recently done an installation, Pond, for Wave Hill. In that piece, the viewer sees a flower/ animal like shape through the water surface [made of acrylic ice shards]. The flower/ animal floats over it. Over our heads. That’s where the idea came from to suspend the bodies very high above the ground. So as to look at them from underwater.

Also, I think another direct link can is the performance of Sankai Juku, Ushio Amagatsu, [BAM 2006 Next Wave Festival]. When the curtain goes up, the stage is covered with large white stemmed flowers. Then, the flowers lift up high above the stage, to reveal the performers who had been there all along, still and invisible. As the flowers lifted I imagined the level of the water raising with the bottom of the stems. Filling up the theater as it went up. The level raising up to just below the arches above the BAMcafé.

The piece is titled after the concept of “suspension of disbelief.”

That’s how the piece came to be. As to what it means… I’ll let you figure that one out!

Milton Rosa-Ortiz
September, 2008

PS- At the opening, I loved seeing my friends who had modeled looking for their casts up above. The two kids were simply delightful. Guy, 6 1/2 years old, was thrilled because he was the only cast with feet; as I’d promised him. Maizie, 4 1/2 years old, was especially tickled to hear she was the only one with a coating of tiny glass balls that made her cast sparkle.