For The Time Being

All I wanted to do with the flowers was condense their being into some little graspable nugget of time, preserved so that I could turn to them for comfort or pass them on to someone else like a talisman. What if I mashed and molded them into bricks? Well I don’t know how to make bricks. But I do have a bread pan, running water, and a freezer. I began converting encasing? my weekly flowers in loaf-sized blocks of ice. The result was a pleasant surprise. The forms and colors of the flowers and greens were perfectly preserved. But they had to remain in the freezer in order to stay that way. Once again, an obstacle. I can’t compete with time and physics. But I can embrace them.

My freezer started getting quite crowded at around 17 bricks, so I decided it was time to share them. I set up a plain white shelf in the lobby of the Gatewood Studio Arts Building, and displayed all of my bricks for an entire day. As they began to melt, the ice became crystal clear and the bright colors of the flowers were visible. The day wore on and the melting accelerated. I couldn’t let my bricks slip away so easily, so I started capturing the water in jars and cups. By the end of the day, the ice was gone and a sad, soggy mass remained. And a video.

For The Time Being is not merely documentary, but a reflection of what I couldn’t achieve with the project in the first place. The video starts out with me placing some bricks one by one on the shelf and moves forward through time to the melting process. Then it jumps back to the shelf and the fully formed bricks. Fades into melting. Then jumps back to the beginning. Video is able to move back and forth in time, but it is still just representation, an illusion. And the video will continue to loop and loop and loop, achieving what I can’t. A defiance of time and change.

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