Mattress Factory

I’ve known about the Mattress Factory since around 2002 and it was one of my first exposures to the idea of installation art. Finally, 13 years later, and well into my own journey into making installations of 1% of the imagination, I made the journey there with my partner and our 3 month old baby. It was amazing!

(image above in Chiharu Shioto’s “Trace of Memory”. The rooms of the entire row home were woven with black string blurring the spaces.¬† )

We were there so long I ended up nursing baby twice and we ran out of time to go to the Warhol Museum. At one of the James Turrell installations – perhaps the darkest art work I’ve ever experienced. We walked up the ramp in a narrow hall way with a hand rail into the space and cheated by using a phone to see. It felt like a sight seeing look out at some place like a mountain range. We left, read the sign and went back into it, this time with no phone or other light source and sat there for the 15 minutes or so that was recommended to see it. That’s where I nursed baby and of course could not help but reflect on his time in the womb and how dark it must have been in there. It was nice to have the visual sensory deprivation. No photos from that one!

Our stop in Pittsburgh was on our way to Toledo with Plastic Fantastic to mark the one year anniversary of the toxic algae bloom, and at Mattress Factory we came across this installation where the artists (an architect and scientist) created an imagined  living room / domestic situation where people grew micro algae.

This was also where I nursed the second time that afternoon. A perfect environment.

image of Julie Schenkelberg‘s The Color of Temperance: Energy Embodied ¬† And a video I loved how she broke down perhaps what was a bedroom from how it should be constructed and its purpose; what seems like should be debris and discarded, is given new life.

I enjoyed how the artists were focused on domestic spaces and our relationships to them.