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The Former Mistake

Kirsten Reynolds, Newmarket (NH, United States)

Kirsten Reynolds Former Mistake GalleryWhen absence is disguised as excess, looking becomes a comedic performance. Architectural structures, poised in a moment between imminent collapse and perpetual construction, suggest a strangely funny and dreadful event on the verge of becoming. Useless or interstitial spaces invited peeping, whimsical, biomorphic creatures appear to pause in the midst of creeping, oozing or watching and additional elements, furtively placed among the architecture, intensify the potential for a narrative. My work activates the agency of that which evades certain knowing, experienced at the intersection of language, architecture and the body. The posed drama of the architectural “stage” exists in a state of limbo until the viewer chooses to enter, becoming both spectator and actor in an absurd narrative.

The installation, The Former Mistake, created for the Currier Museum of Art, transformed the galleries into a space of physical and perceptual negotiation by disrupting the existing architecture with a baroque cascade of architectural elements, suggestive of scaffolding, coal mining tipples and interior dwellings. If the viewer entered the installation, they could move under, over and around the tableau. Much of the installation was built using foam painted or printed with faux finishes, such as wood-grain, to unsettle the material integrity of the object and playfully confuse the delineation between the real, the remembered, and the virtual.

A graduate of Syracuse University and Maine College of Art, Kirsten Reynolds is the recipient of numerous awards, including those from the NH Charitable Foundation- Greater Piscataqua Region, the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the NH State Council for the Arts. She has exhibited her work most recently at the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH (2008-09), the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2008); the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA; Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo, NY, The Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA and the Firehouse Gallery, Burlington, VT.

Reynolds has been a guest lecturer at the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston, The Massachusetts College of Art and the Maine College of Art, and has taught at the Maine College of Art, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Chester College of New England and the University of New England. Reynolds lives and works in Newmarket, New Hampshire.

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