October 1, 2008 – September 27, 2009
Stolzer Family Foundation Gallery
Meade, Kansas-based artist Marc Berghaus conceived, designed, and constructed outdoor/indoor/outdoor for the Stolzer Gallery. The installation is the artist’s response to the ambiguous character of the gallery’s space. As the artist has noted, the gallery “could be considered either an outdoor gallery, with walls, or an indoor gallery, with no roof.” Though the space “is definitely not indoor, it is not quite outdoor.” Berghaus’s space echoes a feature of the museum’s design, playfully blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. While looking out some of the museum’s windows, for example, one’s line of sight passes through an exterior space before returning to the interior through another window.
Constructed from wood, Berghaus’s sofa, chair, and television are based on a 1950s plastic set of doll house furniture his sister had when he was a child. Tactile sound transducers sit under each cushion of the sofa and chair. These devices connect to 1-channel amplifiers and digital audio players, enabling visitors to experience tactile sound while sitting on the cushions. Tactile sound refers to the sensation of sound transmitted through solid material, rather than sound waves received through the ear. The physical sensation of an approaching train or subway on the platform is an example of tactile sound. Continuously looping recordings of outdoor sounds (thunderstorms and chirping birds) are transmitted randomly through the transducers. A lens in the top of the TV captures a view of the sky, which is reflected by a mirror and displayed on the screen.
The experience of these “outdoor” sights and sounds and “indoor” furnishings confounds our expectations of interior and exterior spaces. outdoor/indoor/outdoor prompts us to consider our relationship with Nature and the ways we attempt to contain and control the natural world in our daily lives.