eliza myrie

Building a Wall Through My Father (dress rehearsal), 2016
cement, plastic film, color photographs, wood,
dimensions variable

Building a Wall Through My Father serves as a proposition for a sculpture that remains unrealized. Operating as miniatures the works on view stand-in for a longer-term project in which I apprentice with my father, a brick mason, document the construction/destruction of a 65-foot block wall across our property in Jamaica and the negotiation between a master/apprentice and father/daughter.

The destruction of the wall places the conceptual core outside the object proper, embodying it instead in the act of labor itself. The miniatures and photographs explore ancillary concepts in alternate forms. By fully realizing this proposal the work asks if it is necessary to erect the sculpture or if the miniature, in its most perfect version, can supersede the original.

dress rehearsal is equal in length and courses to the proposed wall. The labor to manufacture/cast each of the 2,340 cinderblocks supplants the physical manifestation of the wall. Its potentiality exists instead in the creation of the materials themselves. In this iteration the wall will ultimately remain un-built with the blocks displayed on palettes and bound as units of material.

Masonry was my first exposure to an idea of dimension, materiality and working with one’s hands, and thus my work as an artist has been learned and is indebted to my father’s relationship to his trade.  Whether built or not, the central site-specific work stands to make visible an otherwise immaterial transmission of knowledge and partnership between generations.