"7" - an Installation Sculpture

This piece began with some ongoing research on Roman Patrician families and the practice of keeping beeswax 'ancestor' masks in a special room in their home - this practice informed the members of the immediate family of who their ancestors were and what deeds and awards those ancestors had earned. During funerals, these masks were worn by family members in the funeral procession. These masks reinforced an understanding of the individual's and, by extension, the family's place in Roman society.

I chose to express the idea of 'place' through this lens. I made the decision to illustrate seven generations of family by casting faces - the humanness of a face is both immediate and intriguing to other humans. Anthropologically, humans are equipped to gather all sorts of data about each other just through the viewing of a face. After doing some quick math, I worked out that seven generations of people would add up to 127 faces (gen1: 64, gen2: 32, gen3: 16, gen4: 8, gen5: 4, gen6: 2, gen7: 1).

The project spec also required that the installation be site specific so I chose one of the two skylights in the Project Space as my site and measured it, which allowed me to work out that I would need the faces to be roughly life-size in order to be effective. The use of kraft paper towel extends the metaphor of family ties in which the intrinsic delicate quality of the paper towel represents the fragile nature of those ties. Lastly, I extended the web of generations through the single individual and out across the floor through two generations of 'children'.

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