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Fever Breath

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Fever Breath, 2018

Mattress, shop vac, flocking, and AC timer.

3’ x 10’ x 12’

Fever Breath was 1 of 4 sculptures exhibited in ‘Brain Janitor’ at Artspace in Raleigh, North Carolina in winter 2018/19.

Fever Breath turns on and inflates in under 20 seconds, and subsequently shrinks over a 20 minute time span. This work is activated whether fully swollen or slowly exhausting. The inflation animates the mattress as an organ, while also developing a relationship with its vacuum assistant. The shop vac is personified both in its function as well as its transformation - the flocked surface suddenly reveals and conceals the human-made form, altering its identity and giving it a body. When the mattress is dismal and flat a sadness in void of human form is present, which abruptly changes when the vacuum turns on. This specific mattress held my own body for years of relationships, sickness, and content - it holds not only embarrassing stains and grime, but also sentimental details.

Brain Janitor is a sculpture exhibition by artist Dane Winkler. It features large scale works constructed of various materials including a braided rug, papier-mâché, fabricated steel, and a hollow mattress. The works have developed out of Winkler’s vocabulary utilizing concepts and materials reminiscent of a farmyard landscape. Often times the sculptures provoke a sense of poetry harkening back to his roots related to homesteading and ones most basic needs. The sculptures characterize a mysterious familiarity to function - be it otherworldly or local. In Brain Janitor the materials elicit a more private intention as Winkler begins to explore manipulated recognizable objects alongside crafted components - What conversation develops when a used mattress inflates and deflates like an organ? By reconsidering these forms through transformations their impressions are modified. How can objects become alive in their gesture or action? These substances are taken out of context compared with more inscrutable forms that hint at function or motion, yet suggest a frozen instance of time. The work relates to the body in various ways ranging from their personal history as a cradle for the body, to an abstraction that empathizes with absence, or the miracle of birth and death. The Proposed Brain Janitor is the keeper of these sentiments. It organizes these images and memories when appropriate, and makes mistakes all the same.

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