Opening and Gallery Talk Wednesday for "Deliquescence" at New Haven Museum
New Haven Museum
114 Whitney Ave., New Haven, (203) 562-4183
Colin Burke: Deliquescence
Dec. 7, 2011—Jan. 28, 2012.
Opening and Gallery Talk: Wed., Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.
What do you do with half a million feet of microﬁlm destined for the dump? "Make art, of course," says New Haven artist Colin Burke, one of seven local artists commissioned by Artspace New Haven to create site-speciﬁc art for Library Science, an art exhibition running until January 28, 2012.
Deliquescence, Burke’s site-speciﬁc installation at the New Haven Museum, includes microﬁlm from the New York Times collection. Burke repurposes media from Connecticut libraries to create a connection between the past, the present, and the future of how we experience the library. On Wed., Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m., Burke will present a gallery talk about his newest installation.
Thousands of feet of microﬁlm envelope two of the museum’s columns in the entrance rotunda. This sculpture illustrates the celebrated landmark pair of elm trees planted in New Haven more than 300 years ago. Between the columns is a transparent pedestal supporting a vintage six-drawer wooden card catalog. Visitors are invited to explore the contents of the catalog drawers, where they will ﬁnd printed cards allowing digital access to more information about the project, the library and museum collections via QR codes designed for smartphones.
Part of the project included a research residency. Burke spent several weeks mining the collections of both the Whitney Library and the New Haven Museum online and onsite. Through primary source materials, including thousands of illustrations and photographs of New Haven, he found the basis of what would become the theme of his artwork—The Elm City.
"I’m still relatively new to the area and still exploring New Haven. I’ve been wondering about the 'Elm City' and the lack of elm trees for a while now—how this ties in to the identity of a place and the way we perceive and preserve the history of our surroundings," explains Burke.
Deliquescence has several definitions, Burke says. “In botany, it describes the branch patterns of trees, including the elm. As metaphor, deliquescence means to vanish into thin air, which also works in describing the demise of the elms and the usefulness of materials like microﬁlm. I found the word through my research which brings it all together. I also just love the sound of the word."
Library Science is an exhibition curated by Rachel Gugelberger, Senior Curator at Exit Art, New York. Bringing together a selection of work by 17 international artists, and seven artists from the New Haven area, Library Science contemplates our personal, intellectual and physical relationship to the library as this venerable institution—and the information it contains—is being radically transformed by the digital era.
Colin Burke is a visual artist creating work featuring analog, antique photographic processes and methods. Through this work, he explores the themes of liminal space, time and proximity. He is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Artspace New Haven, where he has a dedicated studio space to further explore his analog photography practice.
Deliquescence is on view at the New Haven Museum, located at 114 Whitney Ave. The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, continues its tradition of preservation with a collection that includes folk, decorative and fine arts, an extensive photographic archive, and a unique manuscript collection and research capabilities in the Whitney Library. Open Tues.—Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 12—5 p.m. Free on the First Sunday of the month, 1—4 p.m.
Library Science is generously supported with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the David T. Langrock Foundation and a Strategic Initiative Grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
Artspace is New Haven’s largest independent visual arts venue, showcasing a mix of local and national artists in a downtown corner storefront in the historic Ninth Square district. Our mission is to catalyze artistic efforts; to connect artists, audiences and resources; and to redeﬁne art spaces.
(Photo by Mia Orsatti, Courtesy of Artspace New Haven.)