Saturday, November 21, 2009

Charlotte Potter

Charlotte Potter, Glass MFA 2010

The Laboratory


Six workers in long white laboratory coats, all focused on their task. The woman in the foreground is focused on removing the dead butterflies from a glass stomach that resembles alchemy apparatus and placing them into a safe on a shelf. She carefully inspects and catalogues these specimens, putting them into small envelopes as if evidence of an experiment. Another woman steadily rides a stationary bike that rotates an hourglass filled with oil and water; she seems to be trying to emulsify these desperate liquids while referencing the passing of time. Twins stand next to each other held at attention in glass prosthetic stands. One of each of their eyes is being recorded by a video camera and projected together onto the wall in front of them to create a single set of eyes. Here the two become one identity, however the eyes wander off in different directions, making the one implied face at odds with itself. A woman and a man stand facing each other wearing glass oxygen masks attached with a glass tube, suspended in a tenuous balance. The glass mask fills with their condensation as they breathe in this closed system. This relationship seems at once poetic and toxic as they recycle each other’s breath and consume one another. The room seems to be filled with contradictions. The eyes look different directions, these careful experiments are packed into a congested small space, the scientific is being turned into myth.


This piece is an exploration into relationships; failed, dysfunctional, attempted, forced, genetic. Each performer is playing out one of these roles via different metaphors that the onlooker is left to decipher on their own. The tone is indifferent; each performer seems to be doing an experiment, as would a worker in a lab who is testing hypothesis. Some are testing, while others clean up the residue of a former project that has come to an end. 

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