In May 2008, I installed a reconstruction of a living room in a corner of the Focus Gallery at the University of Florida. Inside The Living Room, I only allowed furnishings that were already carrying the representation of nature: bird wallpaper; landscape paintings on the walls; floral upholstery, lampshades, and rugs; lamps made to look like trees, and silk-plants in natural looking baskets. Once the room had the appearance of a believable domestic space, I traced the lines of a chain link garden gate over the surfaces of the room and then filled in all the drawn negative shapes with paint.

The resulting image was as much fence as it was living room. It was inside and outside, figure and ground, natural and artificial, a disruption of duality and fixity. The Living Room presented the balance of a violent boundary separating people from nature, and a soft, domestic interior that feigned a pastoral coexistence with nature.

The Living Room
latex paint on home furnishings
9' x 16' x 11'
The Living Room, installation shot
image courtesy of Bob Bird, University of Florida
Robert Wood '56
latex on found reproduction