Exhibits, City Picks

The Caged Heart

When: Fridays-Sundays, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Continues through June 11 2011

For the next three weekends, the Old City Jail will be a prison in more ways than one: Artists Mikki Blackman and Deborah Donovan Rice, who are working together under the name Luna, have installed The Caged Heart, a site-specific textile exhibit, in the downtown space. The show was inspired by the idea of how people’s lives can become tangled and trapped. It took the artists a year to complete the massive tentacle-like textile coils that are a part of the show. They’re wrapped in purple, pink, and red yarn and hang down from the ceiling of the venue. They serve as the bars of a cage which, unlike in a real prison, are movable. “The idea was that people who feel trapped can often move around or renegotiate their situation so they feel less trapped,” Blackman says. “Maybe it even becomes a cathartic moment. That’s what we wanted to represent.” The show also incorporates music, sound, and spoken word, and is meant to be interactive. Blackman invites guests to move among the coils. “Deb and I see this work as an offering to the community,” she says. “We would like it to invite, to provoke, to begin conversations about how we are unconsciously constricted and how to bring ourselves to a more conscious place, to move to more freedom.”

Susan Cohen

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