The Water installation explored dreams, history, and the waterways of Easthampton in a surreal setting of audio, video, and sculpture.
It was the story of Albert Kiesling, an artist and snow sculptor who lived in Easthampton in the early-mid 20th century. It was the story of false narratives and dreams.
In one room, rich shades of blue created an immersive aquatic environment containing life-size blue beds that had bulbous mattresses evocative a pregnancy or obesity. Robin’s egg blue headphones were distributed throughout the installation for listeners to hear audio recordings telling the dreams of three Easthampton women. These dreams were collected by Maxey and then recited by Easthampton waterways to capture field recordings that immerse the listener simultaneously in the dreams and the streams, millponds, and rivers of the city. (Listen to some dreams)
Other headphones contained the musical score for a richly ethereal video that guides the viewer through a series of dream sequences that reference historical figures of Easthampton, waterways, and surreal narratives. The lush instrumental score was created in collaboration with Timecard, an experimental pop band.
The second more intimate room had a video and audio installation that’s focal point are audio clips from Patty Gambarini’s documentary, Reflections of the Lower Mill Pond. The audio recounts one couple’s story of their relationship with the Lower Mill pond during the height of Easthampton’s mill era.
In conjunction with the Cottage Street installation, the Easthampton City Arts gallery featured video stills, objects, sculptures, and collages that relate to water and the installation. Included in this exhibition was be a horned head, the three books of dreams, and collages about the flood of 1955.
This program was supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.