It is a great pleasure to share the news of my latest commission for The Massachusetts College of Art’s new 22story Residence Hall on Boston’s Huntington Avenue. Some of you may know that I have been through several rounds of submissions, proposals and interviews since last June as part of the commission selection process. Well, it is now official my proposal has been selected as the winner! “Kairos” will be a site specific and permanent installation in the lobby. As depicted below, “Kairos” measures 11 feet high by 99 feet long and will be installed by September 2012. Below are 2 conceptual renderings as well as a brief description and excerpt from the proposal. I look forward to sharing the progress of this milestone project with you all.
Thank you and warmest regards,

Nicole

 

Karios_2_Nicole_Chesney
Artist’s concept rendering, artwork measures 11 feet high by 99 feet long.

 

Kairos at MassArt
The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, kairos signifies a time in between, a moment or undetermined period of time in which something special happens. What that is depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature. In Panathenaicus, Isocrates writes that educated people are those “who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise and rarely misses the expedient course of action”. Kairos is also
very important in Aristotle’s scheme of rhetoric. Kairos is, for Aristotle, the time and space context in which the proof will be delivered. Kairos also means weather in both ancient and Modern Greek. Additionally, in plural, it is kairoi and means “the times”.

The main wall of the lobby is ideally suited for wall-mounted artwork thus providing a focal point for a space that serves  simultaneously as an entry area, a gathering place, and passageway.

Comprised of laminated glass panels installed at an angle within the three-inch sill in front of a reflective, mirror-like wall, Kairos plays upon several suggestive references in its physical installation. The serial imagery of an accordion book, the gentle angle of an open book’s spine and the structure of a lenticular lens all influence the rhythm of the glass panels. A lenticular lens produces an image with the illusion of depth or an image that appears to change or move when viewed from different angles. Only glass transmits light in such a dynamic and captivating manner- no other single material can convey such a range of qualities as reflection, luminosity, translucence and brilliance. The use of mirror conjures an equally rich spectrum of notions like desire, introspection, revelation and longing. Kairos captures fleeting moments of light over time and embodies the qualitative nature of one’s experience at MassArt.

The Selection Committee resonated with the aesthetic and content of my work, intended mode of construction and sensitivity to placement conveyed by this proposal, and the result will be a truly sitespecific public artwork created with respect and sensitivity to its environment. Framed by the glass curtain wall, this site offers the unique opportunity for multiple vantage points making the best use of the building design and natural light while being equally captivating at night. Kairos is at once a buoyant threshold through which residents pass and an ever-changing play of light and color experienced by those traveling along Huntington Avenue.