Shifting our gaze from the walls to the floor, Substrate makes visible the surfaces and systems that guide how we interact with our surroundings. The seven site-responsive installations facilitate conversation about roles of the artist, museum, visitor, art, and architecture.
Encouraged to physically challenge the structure of the museum, the Substrate artists have created works that conceptually subvert the institutional framework as well. Taking different approaches, the artists have cut, covered, scraped, scratched, pushed, pulled, and transformed the floors. Their installations penetrate the museum’s surface, summon ghosts of our past, and peel back layers of history.
The marks, holes, and scratches on the surface of BMoCA’s floors tell stories collected over time. Confessions of years of wear and tear provide clues to the physical and institutional memories of past exhibitions, installations, and even former functions of the building. Adding to what is already written, the artists will leave their own layer on the history of the museum. Substrate alters the spatial hierarchy away from the walls to the floor, drawing attention to routines of the museum environment and how we experience art and architecture.