For the 17th Annual City-Wide Open Studios: Projected/Illuminated Artspace unveiled a new curatorial initiative to support the realization of eighteen large-scale site-responsive works in the historic Goffe Street Armory, a massive three-story brick building that housed the Second Company Govenor's Foot Gaurd from 1939-2009. These commissions were selected through an open call designed to give Connecticut-based artists, architects and performers the opportunity to create unconventional work that responds to the history of the Armory, and transcend the scope and capacity of traditional exhibition settings.
Allison Hornak's A Struggle, A Painting in Two Acts reimagines Albertine Sarrazin's 1965 story of a rebellious woman who jumps over a fence to escape imprisonment and breaks her ankle. Hornak recalls this tale and struggle for freedom in a two-day performance staged on the front lawn of the Goffe Street Armory. Encased in a box, the artist moved around the lawn, reaching for paint cans buried in earth, and painting an image of her trapped foot.
Shallow Studio's Against the Grain honors the architecture and industrial history of the Goffe Street Armory (c.1939). The installation consists of over 100 original floor boards, removed from a section of the 80,000 square foot Drill Hall that did not pass safety inspection. Rather than discard the boards, the artists strung them in a chevron pattern that extended across the width of the Hall, and wrapped around the Bethlehem Steel trusses, evoking the building's use as a site for military training.
Jonathan Sun's Light Column is composed entirely of tracing paper. It passes through the haunting space of the first floor staircase, evoking the sense of the building's ghostly pass, multiple uses, and abandonment. The column relies on tension to create a lattice-like structure that magically captures and reflects light, a fragile intervention within the building's industrial interior.