Imposition. What does the word mean to you? Miriam Webster defines the word as a “an excessive or uncalled-for requirement or burden.” In etymology, there is similar language used to break down the word: to "lay on as a burden, inflict by force or authority.”
Often, when we don’t wish to bother a person, we might say “I don’t wish to burden you, however...” or “I don’t want to be a burden, but...” and we continue, usually with a burdensome tale of complaint, or an unruly favour. We give this courtesy to our fellow earthly travellers, the people in our life that we choose to confide in or ask for a hand whenever we might need. But what would the world look like if we did the same for the places and the objects we surround ourselves with and in?
In university, I took a sound class. In this class, I learned that sound has the capacity to be engraved into the spaces that we take up and the objects that we use every day. Just like a record, our long-winded arguments, our bubble bath cries and shower ballads are literally etched into the spaces we take up. We impose; we burden the very wood in our walls with our daily releases - and it takes stalk.
These three wood panels were donated to me. In their lifetime, they were three of 50 panels that came together to make a massive storage cabinet for set pieces, costumes, paint, and tools for the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, BC. Since it’s opening in 1927, the theatre has been the temporary home of comedians, opera singers, ballerinas, actors, drag queens, and musical theatre stars.
What are the sounds of the theatre and how might these engravings look? In imposition 1, 2, 3, I hope to give form to the lively sounds that have imposed vibration on the space over the years; The heavy bass, the clicking of tap shoes, the nervous backstage hums, or Romeo’s heavy sobs. These sounds have reverberated through so many bodies, actors and audiences, and through these very panels over the years.
Consider the spaces you occupy. What might your engravings look like?
These works are available for purchase and viewing at The Profile on Lonsdale.
I would like to thank the artist, curator, and wonderful human Benjamin Lumb for choosing to exhibit my work.