Spaces of waiting exist in each of our lives, sometimes quite literally (a doctor’s office, the ER), while at other times, they exist only in the abstract (waiting for a better time to come, for happiness, or love). The Waiting Room hovers somewhere between the concrete and the ephemera. Using the conventions and aesthetics of waiting rooms, I’ve created a space that is simultaneously real and unreal; a meditation on, and exploration of, time, waiting, and fate.
To enter The Waiting Room, one must pass through a barrier of thread, designating the space as a world within a world. The piece itself is a gigantic clock, with chairs in place of numbers. The viewer who enters the space quite literally interacts with time as a clipboard and magazine move from chair to chair, representing the movement of the hands of the clock
The use of fiber in this piece signifies the ether, the pure raw substance of the universe from which life and experience is created. This is integrally connected to the three fates of Greek mythology. The first of the fates, Clotho, spins the thread of life from the substance of void. Next, Lechesis measures the thread to determine the length of each human life. Finally, Atropos cuts this thread, signifying death.
These actions associated with fate are portrayed on the piece’s three television screens, quite literally placing the viewer, the one who is waiting, in the presence of fate. The audio coming from the televisions are distorted samples recorded from several waiting rooms where I sat knitting the three hearts suspended in bell jars. These hearts rest underneath incandescent lamps, symbolizing a manifestation of life incubated, life suspended, life constructed of the stuff of the ether.
Several aspects of different meditative practices are incorporated into the piece. Due to the work’s circular nature, the viewer is required to circumambulate the room to see it in its entirety. In circumambulation, a Buddhist meditative practice, the practitioner circles a sacred space in the aim of attaining enlightenment. This, combined with the meditative repetition of the audio and video, allows the viewer to explore the concepts of time and waiting with depth and profundity.