Metamorphosis: Installation and Exhibition Tour
Winters’ fascination with the myth of Dionysus as a parable of the creative process has been her unifying theme for decades. The Greeks associated the grapevine with Dionysus in part because the grape produces the mysteries of intoxication but also because boldly cutting back the vine at the end of the season is what makes possible a bountiful harvest the next season. For Winters, the myth exemplifies the idea of life as an indefatigable and overwhelming force, perpetually giving birth to and at the same time overcoming the world of order, form, human contrivance, and fantasy. On the one hand, her work is about procreation, growth, and then annihilation; on the other hand, it is about the world of human contrivance, with its redeeming surface play of meaning and whimsy that this perpetual coming-to-be and passing away makes possible. (See reviews/essays of Winters’ installations and exhibitions.)
Winters has given the Dionysian creative process symbolic expression in various ways. In 1996 she arranged to work on a large installation at her New York gallery during daytime hours, when the gallery was open to the public, and asked the gallery director, George Adams, to erase portions of the work each night. By repeatedly “cutting back the vine” in this way, he acted as a critical force; and on each successive day, she countered his action by reconstituting the piece in a new and different way.
Similarly, she called attention to the primacy of process over finished product with a 110-foot installation that traveled to five different venues around the country and morphed into a fundamentally different piece at each one. (See details of this installation.) Tailoring the work to each venue, Winters would rework the piece on-site to reflect the architecture of the space, continually creating site-specific elements and eliminating anything she felt was no longer appropriate. In addition, a video documenting the various stages of the process up to that time played next to the installation. Winters considers the videos (and photo portfolios) to be every bit as important as the installations they document, because they tell the back story of continual displacement and renewal, which is at the core of the creative life.
Proposals for Metamorphosis: Installation and Exhibition Tour
Winters proposes that two of her earlier installations, Pretexts and Subtexts (begun 2005, ongoing), and Metamorphosis I(begun 2007, also ongoing) travel with her third installation The Signal and the Noise(begun 2013). This newest installation, brings with it drawing animations and videos to be used as a teaching tool at each new venue. The core of this exhibition has expanded to include other artist’s works. Artists have been invited to respond to the earlier residues of Winters’ pieces and thus being encouraged to create their own interpretation or resolution. This invitation expands on Winters concept of collaboration as it introduces new educational dimensions to community participation, and creativity.
Each of these installations will (as before) be accompanied by a exhibition of her drawings, prints, and accordion books that have inspired them.
She intends to continue the performance components of these exhibitions by reworking them on-site and in public. Winters would also like to draw viewers into the creative process by involving some of them in the dismantling and re-creation of parts of these installations. In various ways, She hopes to turn these installations into performance pieces about the intimate process in the studio. As these pieces continue to travel and be reconstructed, themes of the Dionysian myth and the evolution of a creative idea will remain her central focus.
Winters is also proposing a book or catalogue raisonné to be published to accompany the exhibition, as well as video documentation of all collaborations that occur at the different venues. She will be available to travel to the various institutions for its installation, and for lectures, community workshops, and participatory performances involving the installation. If given the opportunity, she would like to collaborate with musicians and dancers at the individual institutions.
Organizing and scheduling this tour will take approximately two years, and the tour may travel for as much as five years, all of which will require administrative funding. She hopes to raise money to subsidize most of the exhibition expenses, catalogues, printing, collaborative video documentation, traveling expenses, and management fees.
While institutions will contribute to the project directly, as they did during her earlier tours, additional funding will be needed to expand the project. Funding will also be used to extend the project to smaller institutions that might not otherwise be able to participate.
Since the anticipated itinerary for this project begins in New York and runs as far as California and Florida, Winters will seek funding appropriate to the states that will exhibit the work.
Please feel free to contact Sandy Winters (email) for more details and for questions about scheduling and funding Metamorphosis in your community.