MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
APRIL 15 – MAY 7, 1994
RECEPTION: FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 1994 AT 8 PM
ARTIST TALK: SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1994 AT 2 PM
Laura Baird’s JONESTOWN CARPET is an installation consisting of a rocking chair, a needle-made (gross point) tapestry rug and a focused beam of light. The five by seven foot carpet was stitched by the artist (with occasional help from her friends) through the years 1981-1991.
Baird’s DETAILS works, including the polaroids now on display, are photographs of the rug’s central, photoreal panel, grossly enlarged to recreate the artist’s field of view as it was held in the stitching process.
Baird’s newest undertaking, Waco Bridge, is a continuation of the Jonestown Carpet; an ongoing, work in progress that has ultimately taken ten years to complete. With a reverence to the medieval aesthetic and vehement spirituality, Baird committed herself to the labor-intensive project of hand stitching the now completed 5’x7’ carpet. Moving away from the contemporary art dissertation and dissection of the 1980’s, and the capitalistic commodification of art production, Baird sought a means to examine human issues and human complexities. As influenced by medieval artisans, Baird expressed the complexity of human themes through a complex material process. Soon after Baird neared completion of her examination of the Jonestown Massacre, and the unholy trinity: the desire for heaven on earth, the resulting alienation and subsequent death, she was confronted, through the eyes of live television crews, with the Waco Crisis. Once again the cyclical and often tragic results of seeking Utopia in contemporary society were internationally apparent. Again, we are forced to wonder why sho many people would choose death over reintegration into our society under the leadership of another hero/anti-hero.