2012 Rigoletto's Curse
The material for the collages in “Rigoletto’s Curse” comes from a large stack of record albums Mara Baker discovered in 2011 in a derelict warehouse just before it was demolished. She uses this detritus, embedded with cultural knowledge she treats as raw material, to make “impure” abstractions that refuse to live in an autonomous void. Baker refines entropy into form through recycling the albums, making small relationships on carefully painted and sized wooden panels: a few fragments in conversation with each other, creating temporary clarity out of chaos. But each small act of creation is an act of mourning as well as alchemy, because material under the influence of entropy can never return to its former self. In collaboration with writing by Monica Westin, who uses one of the found albums-- Verdi’s Rigoletto—to address these themes in a collaborative essay, Baker explores the structure of intuition, ruins, open work, and how our individual choices create mythologies and arbitrary systems that we need in order to filter and make sense of the endless noise offered by the world around us.
Full essay by Monica Westin can be read here.