Armaria were wooden boxes in ancient Greece and Egypt containing printed manuscripts. The Armarium here is constructed of wood completely charred on the exterior, with one hole containing a reducing lens. Viewers can read ghostly fragments of text, from the chapter “The Book of the Dead” in Homer’s Odyssey, each letter labouriously stitched into a tissuous web. The original stories of the Odyssey and the Iliad were transported by itinerant rhapsodists (from rhap, to sew, and ode, a song) and within the piece, the words make direct correlation to the ancient meaning rhapsody by physically stitching together the text. The word ‘text’ also means tissue (texere): a significant note when viewing the words through the portal of the armarium, an act equivalent to observing a specimen.
charred birch and cedar, lens, embroidery thread, excised, frosted mylar, 172.7 x 76.2 x 33 cm, 2007
detail inside lens
detail of front