“Fragments from a History” by Daniela Rivera, a series of doors with audio poetry, is now at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum. This installation is second in a series of annual commissions.
Rivera has fitted salvaged wooden doors of various vintages with optical lenses and speakers. The doors invite approach, in order to peer through the irresistible peepholes at the center of each. Motion sensors trigger sound: whispered incantations and interviews that are just below the threshold of hearing unless one’s face is pressed against the door.
The installation distills the artist’s own experience as an immigrant and evokes “the loss of the habitual.” Rivera says she explored “the many personal stories of immigration and the loss of familiarity of one’s environment.”
The installation’s an eight channel audio piece designed by Jenny Olivia Johnson.
Sculptor Tony Matelli’s show, now at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum, seeks to memorialize the quotidian. His sculptures encompass a wide variety of subjects, from oddly exhilarating, brightly-colored arrangements of rope, to cast bronze windows complete with accidental still-lifes of dead leaves and protruding tufts of insulation. But it’s the hyper-realistic guy in his underwear that’s caused local controversy. About 300 Wellesley students signed a petition asking that the sculpture be removed, as it is “a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault.” The sculpture’s shambling pose and baggy underwear didn’t pose much of a threat on a freezing February day; in fact, its main affront may be the memorialization of someone entirely average-looking, surely a crime in perfection-obsessed America.
Photo by Dianne Pappas.
Tony Matelli: New Gravity is on view at the Davis Museum, Wellesley College, through July 20.