Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lisa Mona, Jon Lisa, Mona Berge, Jon Berge, Mona Lisa

I was remiss in not including my friend, Jon Berge, in the Mona Lisa column. I'd forgotten he did a wonderful piece on the Mona Lisa. Berge showed a poster of the Mona Lisa to 100 inner-city children aged 7 to 14 and asked them to explain what the portrait of the Mona Lisa looks like to someone can't see or feel.

The project was created to be tactile, so that the visual aspect of the piece is not the focus. The tactility of the piece is further reinforced by the use of materials in their natural state.

The children's responses are incorporated into the piece in multiple ways. All 100 statements are thumb-tacked to the wall, forming a horizontal rectangle. In addition, four of the statements were translated into Braille, and mounted on birch wood panels. Each of those panels is the same size as the "original" Mona Lisa. The panels are hung in a horizontal row floating above the statements, held by a pair of bronze hands. All the panels are placed on the wall at the eye level of children and of people in wheelchairs. In addition, touching the piece activates a digital recording of the children reading their statements.

Jon Lisa Mona Berge, this one's for you!

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