Deborah-Koenker-Visual-Artist-Vancouver_Adrift

Adrift

1999
1999. Vellum (172'x 10-12'), 95 mylar, photocopied sheets w/ drawings and text, moving shadows projected from motorized, rotating light stands, boat.


A primary narrative excerpted from Garcia Marquez's book The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor serves as a metaphor for the journey (medical, physical, emotional, and spiritual) of the chronically ill. Paired with a parallel text and images from the Bayeaux Tapestry, Adrift explores the relationship between military/medical language, cultural/societal attitudes and feminist discourse on disability, and the Cartesian mind-body split, the basis for allopathic medicine.  

These texts run across a series of 95 mylar sheets which carry black line drawings from the Bayeux Tapestry, an anonymously embroidered work which documents the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  These sheets of drawings and text echo the format of the Tapestry, and are mounted on a suspended vellum "wall" which winds through the gallery for approximately 170'.  Upon this "wall" are moving shadows, projected from behind the wall by small motorized platforms holding faceted glasses and halogen lights. These simple mechanisms cast patterns of moving shadows across the entire expanse of vellum, creating a watery effect of submersion, relating to the profound experience of an aberrant body.

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