Biennial 2008

MK Guth

Ties of Protection and Safekeeping,

“My name is MK Guth, and the title of my piece is Ties of Protection and Safekeeping. This is called the Silver Room and it’s in the Park Avenue Armory, and it was designed as a library by Tiffany and Co. The material of the work is synthetic hair, color 144, and flannel cloth that’s just been ripped into scraps and ribbons. People are welcome to come into the space, and if they chose, they can respond to a question by writing on a ribbon what they believe is worth protecting. And as those ribbons are handed in, myself or one of the other people who are working with me, continue to braid it in which extends this object each day by a fair amount.  When I first arrived in New York, the braid was approximately 500 feet. It’s more than doubled that at this point, so it’s probably 1000, or 1100.

“I try hard not to actually get caught up in reading every response that are in these ribbons. I don’t really look at them, even though the pieces of flannel represent individuals, you know each one represents somebody, for me it’s more about how they collapse together and become something else.  When creating this object, I was interested in kind of overtaking this space with something that wasn’t necessarily masculine, but had a more organic and a feminine feel, but also kind of represented a present-day notion of what this side of history might mean. The very notion that we’re weaving these responses into a physical object, and thus then weaving the object into a site or into a physical place, those are all things that came into play when designing and creating this piece for this particular site. Because I knew that if the space was free, and people could return, one could create a piece that would change and evolve over time. And so every time you returned, your experience was different, and I thought that was an interesting notion to engage in because it’s a unique opportunity to this particular space.”