The latex cast of a lighthouse from Borden-Carleton, Canada by Kim Morgan is now on display at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. If you find yourself in Sheboygan, WI before January 5, 2015, I would highly recommend seeing this installation. This work, created in 2010, has also been exhibited in Canada, the artist’s home province of Nova Scotia and at Mass MoCA.
Range Light Borden-Carleton, when first encountered, overwhelms with the sheer immensity of it taking over the room in which it is displayed. It is like a discarded reptilian skin perfectly replicating the peeling surface of its source. The lighthouse from which it was cast is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was designed and is now still standing, but slowing crumbling – an antiquated remnant from the past.
The dimly lit room allows for this piece, lit from within, to glow warmly like a candle at a vigil. There is so much beauty in this skeletal skin, evidence of peeling paint and cracking surface – the light which softly illuminates these flaws gives proof of the past life of this guiding post, now sagging a bit and tethered by rope and beam. The way it is hung speaks to the fragility in the passage of time. Range Light does not stand upright, but is suspended sideways by pulleys on the walls and ceiling. The insides of it have also been cast in latex and connect to the cast of the outside, so it becomes an inverted image of itself from end to end. This overwhelming structure is made accessible in the vulnerability of its posture.
I was moved viscerally upon the sight of it. It gave me pause, and made me take it in from a distance before approaching it to inspect it further. In this piece I found beauty and grace in deterioration and the slow erosion of time.