People have acknowledged the power of rumor for thousands of years.
In The Aeneid, Virgil recognizes it as a “monster, vast and terrible, fleet-winged and swift-footed…who for every feather on her body has as many watchful eyes below… [and flies while] singing fact and fiction alike”.
Sometimes a weapon of deception, other times a harbinger of truth, rumor is as much a part of humanity as the multitudinous emotions that fuel it.
The power of rumor took on a new dimension in 2016 as phrases like “fake news” and “alternative facts” entered the collective vocabulary of countries across the world. Venetian Rumor examines the relationship between rumors and the political sphere, reimagining the winged creature of The Aeneid.
It references the visual culture of the city of Venice, which, when it was the center of the Venetian Republic, possessed a complex political culture that revered truth and transparency while being shaped by the enigmatic culture of the masquerade.
In Venetian Rumor, I explore idea that the force of rumor can turn a lie into a truth, and render a truth a lie.
Animarum is a ceramic sculpture about the social and architectural destruction caused by the Protestant Reformation.
During the Reformation, religious reform attacked monasteries, images and sculptures of saints, and other expressions of religious belief that had developed throughout Europe.
These attacks broke down the social structures that surrounded many religious institutions and destroyed the art of the common people.
The pillaging that followed helped create the macabre association with the word gothic we have today.
Animarum imagines the moment that a spirit of a church rescues the church's relic and takes flight from a hoard of pillagers about to break through the doors.
This piece is an exploration of linguistics, architecture, history, and the personalization of spiritual belief.
Note: Animarum is the possessive plural of anima, which is Latin for soul, spirit, or life. Research and inspiration primarily from Nick Groom's "The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction".