Turnscope: a site specific, collaborative sculpture by Ellen Driscoll and Nick Tobier.
February 2 – March 10 , 2001
Opening reception: Friday February 2, 6 – 9 pm
141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 617.522.0000
This collaborative installation creates a “Turnscope” that rotates photo-based images taken by the artists on a walk in Jamaica Plain, MA. All the images were photographed by the artists at a one quarter mile radius around the Gallery @ Green Street. The work visually connects circles with ideas of circulation and the movement of viewers through the gallery, the station and the neighborhood. The movement of visitors through the “Turnscope’s” turnstile ( the human powered, oversized, gear driven, “engine” ) moves images past a light source on the gallery’s front wall. The wood and steel “Turnscope” echoes the MBTA turnstiles just outside the exhibit space in the subway station. The person pushing through the Turnscope sees the moving machinery but not the images. Viewers in the front of the gallery or walking by can see the “Viewmaster” turn, illuminating one image at a time, but not the person powering it.
Ellen Driscoll was born in Jamaica Plain, teaches at RISD and just completed a major public commission, “As Above, So Below” in another transportation hub in New York City: Grand Central Station. ( See info at http://home.earthlink.net/~ellendriscoll/ ). Nick Tobier is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, teaches at Alfred University in New York, taught at Mass Art and recently exhibited at the BCA’s Mills Gallery. He frequently engages public spaces and people on their turf, serving coffee from a cart or building temporary structures in public spaces that encourage interaction between pedestrians, artists and curious onlookers. This is their first collaboration.
The walk around Green Street Station is either an everyday urban reality or a Dada experience. It is an experience of convenient circulation, or the reconfiguring of a map and a street plan. It is a conventional path which has the possibility of migrating into an erratic form, and an experience of seeing and collecting. Each day, countless individuals pass personal landmarks, acknowledging, or overlooking visual treasures. Where these divergent paths converge is the Green Street Station. Considering the Gallery/Station as a center point, and the turnstile as a device that records passage, gives access, and drives a mechanism, our collection of images organized itself on the principles of the site. A transit and neighborhood hub, the station is tied to spokes of experience — each radiating out along concentric rings of increasing magnitude.
Characteristically, our collection of images consists of those places and objects which support this synergy — circulation systems, mechanical contrivances, suggestions of going and stopping, intimations of increasing velocity or diminishing energy, and places which inspired us to pause, reflect, and then continue on.
– Ellen Driscoll and Nick Tobier