FALSE BURDEN at THE BLACK FRAME GALLERY

SITE-SPECIFIC EXHIBITION

Gausdal Foundation.jpg

The Black Frame Gallery, a project of Michael Kautzer and Epitecture Studio, is a "world-class exhibition space mounted on one's back."

Our project, False Burden appears to be a heavy weight that the carrier of the Black Frame Gallery must bear, and by virtue of the scaled down gallery space, it also reads as a miniature of a massive monument. A tiny placard on the wall of the main gallery reinforces this scale shift; its text is too small to read.

In actuality, False Burden is a hollow facsimile of a real rock which has been scanned with a 3-D scanner, enlarged by a factor of 10, and printed using a 3-D stereolithographic printer. It has then been sliced into two sections which occupy the exhibition spaces. The weight of the object is illusory and its surface retains the color and texture of the material used in 3-D printing, providing a clue to the object’s inauthenticity.

The rock used as the source of the 3-D scan has its own significance. It is a remnant of the foundation of a farmhouse in Gausdal, Norway, formerly occupied by Budsberg’s ancestors who immigrated to Wisconsin in the 1870’s. Representing one of the few artifacts from the old country, False Burden is a futile attempt to enlarge, amplify, and analyze an ancestral object and coerce it into revealing information about the place and time from which it came. It represents an irrational desire for the object to become transparent, disclosing secrets of the past. The result contrasts the ancient technology of placing stone upon stone to form a foundation with the complexity of modern stereolithographic printing. Ultimately, both technologies fail to provide insight into the past, and the stone remains mute.