Dwelling is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the Boston Foundation for Architecture, the Boston Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and individual donors.
Memory, Architecture and Place
Dwelling: Memory, Architecture and Place is a juried outdoor exhibition of installation work, sculpture and structures woven into the picturesque landscape of Forest Hills Cemetery. The exhibition explores the Victorian concept of the Cemetery as a domestic space where the living and the dead can "visit" and remain connected. At Forest Hills, large family lots were designed to echo the architecture of family homes; monuments were created by the same craftsmen who carved marble mantlepieces and architectural ornamentation. The intimate scale, familiar decorative details, and maintenance of family identity created a comforting place of solace.
The word dwelling has two complementary meanings. On the one hand, a dwelling is a residence. It embodies the taste, values, status, and social relationships of its inhabitants. On the other hand, "dwelling" signifies a private process involving recollection, lingering reflection, and immersion in emotion. We dwell on the past, on memories or in our feelings all of which are intangible. Both of these meanings are brought together at Forest Hills, which is both a final home and a place for contemplation and remembrance.
Fifteen artists and architects have created work using a variety of styles and media to respond to the exhibition theme. Some of the work explores the archetype of the house, at a scale large enough to enter or in miniature; these structures are cast in cement, defined by walls of lush vines, or constructed to embrace a garden of sunflowers. Some of the sculpture provides shelter for birds, reminding us that Forest Hills is a sanctuary for urban wildlife as well as people. Other installations use domestic furnishings a lush oriental carpet made from recycled wood, a series of antique doorknockers mounted on resonant posts to create rooms and thresholds in the open air. Other pieces transform typical memorial markers into simplified and abstracted iconic sculptural forms.
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