musings & publications

Hibernation: Resting in Peace: A Sculptural Installation By Jen Raimondi
by Doug Norris. read this article...

Essay for Hibernation: Resting In Peace
Ellen Driscoll, 2006. read this article...

Essay for Hibernation: Resting In Peace
by Cynthia Farnell, May 2006. read this article...

Editor’s Note, “Art of the matter,” excerpt Janine Weisman, editor. read this article...

“Creature Discomfort” by Cynthia Farnell. read this article...

ESSAY FOR HIBERNATION: RESTING IN PEACE

Ellen Driscoll, 2006. Faculty, Rhode Island School of Design

Hibernation: Resting in Peace by Jen Raimondi is a dynamic sculptural insertion into the Fort Adams site. Fort Adams was built for war, but never used for that purpose. In a sense, its looming powerful presence is like that of a sleeping bear, both massive and dormant. In Ms. Raimondi’s work, there are numerous references to sleeping, to gestures of repose, and to their attendant implications of death, the ultimate price of war. The large tree is itself torn from its root, lying down as if asleep, and fossilized in its transformation from wood to a marble-like Forton MG cast of its former self. The reference to marble as a material is a historic reference to the one of the most classic materials used in the building of funereal sculpture. The placement of this uncanny image from the natural world into the overwhelming architecture of the fort makes a delicate and poignant contrast that is as resonant as a dream fragment that lingers long after the dream itself has been forgotten.

Opposite the tree is one very large bird encircled by a thicket of white branches. This bird appears to watch its sleeping partner across the divide of the space in an act of quiet vigilance, and we as viewers become implicated in that act. We are watched, as we are watching. The white of the branches in this case denotes frost, and the dormancy of winter, but also acts as a barrier. We can see in to this space, but we cannot participate in it.

Yet the size of the bird overwhelms us and we are perhaps glad not to be closer. This creates a sense of the delicate relationships that constitute social and civic spaces that nature is inevitably disrupted by mankind’s aggressions, and that we are implicated in the construction and maintenance of fragile peace wherever and whenever it can be found.