Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland

29′ 2″ H x 37′ 2″ W x 96′ 2″ D (890 x 1,132 x 2,932 cm.)

Calcium Carbonate, Ash, Vapor, Charcoal, Talc, Water, Pigment, Laytex, Steel, Aluminum, Fiberglass, Coal, Compressor, Motors, Timers, Audio Recording, Paper, Flame, Day and Incandescent Light, Gold

Site Description:
The grand, classical sky-lit exhibition hall of a turn of the century museum with high ceilings and parquet floor.

Two enormous cones of light and thread radiated down from above in the luminous space of the Kunsthalle Basel. The circular territories defined by these cones of light were distinctly opposite but intersecting. A lush field of the finest white powder was juxtaposed with a deep charcoal pit. Diminutive white cones surrounded both fields, and wood ash covered the entire ground plane.

The luminous foreground was filled with fine talc. A cyclic timepiece swept across the field, simultaneously creating and destroying crisp white furrows, while a large gold vessel boiled. A red pigment cone rose up to interrupt the symmetry and whiteness of the foreground landscape.

The second field was a black, terraced cinder pit, out of which rose plumes of vapor. A black and white taper marked time slowly like a metronome.

The center of the overlapping terrains held a glowing aura of white light, which dimmed every minute and a half. A deep drum sounded at these intervals, diminishing and echoing slowly into the great space and into time. In the distance beyond, a tall flame leaped brightly in a dark doorway.

Antithesis filled the entire space; like a large diorama, it was experienced through a scrim from the open end. Viewers did not enter the realm, but perceived the work from outside the defined territory.


Installing Antithesis 8’41”