Shadows of Meaning

This sculpture is created from Dreiser’s own words made physical, in large quotes.  The entire sculpture is an abstracted typewriter platen and piece of paper, with the column standing in for the platen, and the faceted planar assemblage of quotes in the form of a sheet of paper.

The piece casts shadows across the ground, inscribing there these bits of Dreiser’s thinking in a fugitive manner for viewers to read.  All this shadow play depends upon the time of day, the position of the viewer/reader and the time of year.  The angular folds to the paper represent various perspectives of thought and the incisiveness of Dreiser’s opinions.  The quotes are taken from works throughout his career.  Depending on whether one is approaching the north entrance of the Vigo County Library, or leaving through it, the metal quotes are more or less legible- the type is reversed on approach and readable when leaving, a subtle nod to the knowledge contained within the Library and Dreiser’s oeuvre.

The paper of quotes appears as a delicate screen composed of letters ranging from 6” to 9” in height.  The type fonts change as the piece proceeds from quote to quote, so that each one has its own appearance. This differentiation assists in the deciphering of the conglomeration of letters.  These are words that must be examined to understand what is being said; they take a little time to reveal their meanings.

The selection of the blue hue for the paper was based upon the idiom “true blue” in which blue signifies speaking in a genuine manner, without avoidance.  The two elements gently touch one another, as if the paper were in the process of leaving the platen.  They are arranged upon a concrete slab (14’-8” x 14’-8” approx.) that allows the shadows to be read more clearly, a blank slate of sorts.