LK: There’s a part of the installation that I’m particularly partial to, loving it a little more than the rest, like a favorite child. And that is the space in the house I call the “sanctuary”. It’s the part that I feel most satisfied with in terms of the collaborative process. Crafting this section of the house – a high altar table supporting fetishistic offerings that are viewed against a mosaic-like wall of square tiles - produced the richest exchange of ideas between us. Katha and I used each other’s thoughts and words, a constant back and forth of commentary, challenge, provocation, and concord to spur our thinking on how best to create this shrine-like space.
The sanctuary, a back corner of the gallery, was one of the last pieces to come into focus for us thematically. We originally called it the “storage area” in the house and saw it as a place where a surfeit of household goods and stores were held. Though the more research we did, the more we realized how ubiquitous in-house worship was in the Roman house in the 1st century A.D. Such worship was believed to placate the ancestor spirits and the patron deities that protected the house. This population of house spirits was thought to mediate between man and the more powerful gods of heaven and the underworld such as Jupitor, Minerva, and Juno. In their offerings, prayers, and rituals, the people of the house constantly tried to control the supernatural, the multitude of inexplicable occurrences in the world around them.
When you look at the wall I hope you see cacophony - a jumble of mysterious fragments and recognizable objects, things disappearing into blackness, other things emerging, gold and glittering, as if these objects have been ceremoniously placed onto shelves and cubbyholes generation after generation within the household. The fetishes and offerings on the high, narrow table and the images on the wall share motifs and echo each other in color, shape, and texture. Together they create a spiritually charged space within the domestic dwelling.