Created by Rotterdam-based designer Chris Kabel, Wall Space is a sculptural installation that turns Headlands’ building façade into a canvas for commissioned texts. Hidden armature, inspired by historical movie theater marquees, features a modular lettering system rendered in transparent metal mesh, which responds to changing light conditions and makes the text readable to viewers as a cast shadow. For the inaugural installation, which will change over the course of the year, Headlands has commissioned San Francisco-based writer Claudia La Rocco (Headlands Artist in Residence, 2013) to curate texts. Wall Space will launch with a new poem by Wendy Rose relating to her Hopi and Miwok ancestry and the Native American history of the Marin Headlands.
Having spent a glorious ten weeks in residence at Headlands several years ago, I know well its singular combination of land, sea, and art. I sought out writers whose words would echo and reverberate in this wild place, and lead those who come across them down surprising, provocative, and rich pathways. I wanted language that would challenge, but also leave room for various interpretations, so that these texts might become sight-specific collaborations between single authors and an ever-changing flow of readers. I don’t believe in the false distinction between art and activism, and I look to language for ambiguity as much as clarity. This is a surreal year to be contemplating public space, particularly in this country; I chose writers who are formally dazzling and politically fierce, so they could do nuanced justice to these complicated.
This program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.