Shoe Peg Corn

Installation at the Governors Island Art Fair, Governors Island, New York City, September 2017. Found objects with furniture, paper, fabric, other, dimensions variable.

As seen in the film above, a working Kodak carousel was a central focus of the installation experience; visitors were invited to change the slides as they wished, cycling through found slides that ranged from mid-century European vacations and orthopedic surgery teaching slides.


The houses of Colonel’s Row on Governors Island, home to the Governors Island Art Fair for ten years running, are in various states of beautiful dilapidation. I was thrilled that the ceiling would occasionally drop an addition to the installation.

The visitor’s pathway was interrupted with communion hosts, pills, and piles of salt.

“William Box”: found objects in box with gesso, wood, and other.

“Pull-toy”: cotton with gesso, pins, paper, wood, and found objects

“Pull Toy”, a small gessoed soft sculpture, stood intentionally within the direction of traffic, seemingly discarded (and sometimes kicked or tripped by visitors).

Found sound– A.M. radio– was a constant aspect of the installation, providing varying and relatively uncontrolled contexts to the rest of the installation, both shifting meaning with each new radio show, and providing a real-time rooting within the current time-frame.

“Pearl body”: faux pearls with trash, found objects, condom. Five pieces, dimensions variable.

The bread was sourced locally and changed over time, slowly disintegrating (and occasionally breaking under curious fingers).

“Pillow”: cotton with gesso, pins, found objects.

This hand-sewn pillow, stuffed with scraps, is mummified under so many layers of gesso that it sounds like a book when it’s dropped.

Parenthetically, the better part of a gallon of gesso is split between this pillow, the pull-toy, and “Picnic”, pictured further below.

“Picnic”: found objects in piano bench with cotton, gesso, device, news, 30 x 20 x 13”

This piece was refreshed with a front page of the New York Times every exhibition day, the previous iterations being discarded to the side and accumulating over the course of the installation. A few curious visitors were brave enough to flip the switch on the vibrator and let it clang out in the tin plate.

This wall is opposite the rest of the installation and includes parts of my personal collection and trash sourced specifically for this show; contained therein are pieces found on a Brooklyn beach, in the wreckage of Superstorm Sandy in Red Hook, and from various local estate sales.

“Object Six” was also installed as part of the piece.

Installed Assemblages:

“Object 1”: found objects in slide box with gesso

“Object 5”: found objects in box with cotton and pins. I’ve always been particularly proud of this particular beach-combed find– an old transistor radio– and partially made this piece in order to protect it from further decay. I’ve discovered that once rusty things are taken from the (apparently favorable) conditions of the beach, they begin to deteriorate pretty rapidly.

“Object 3”: found objects with time in birch box with glass, 9 x 12 x 1”. The aforementioned deterioration of rusty objects from the beach was the main aspect of this piece, which contains two pieces of an old license plate, allowed to flake away into nothing; change over time is an intended (and crucial) element here.

“Object 4”: found objects in box with pins.

Photo by Liz Daly

Photos by Gerrit Roessler

2 responses to “Shoe Peg Corn”

  1. […] as part of Shoe Peg Corn, Governors Island Art Fair, […]

  2. […] As with other installations, “Last Ditch Effort” is a combination of old and recycled installation elements– amongst the familiar pieces is the pillow, last seen in Shoe Peg Corn. […]