This was an installation for Terrain Biennial, 2017. Artists were given houses to install work and I was given this gem in Oak Park, IL.
I walked the neighborhood, looking and listening, before deciding what to create for this installation. Down the street, I found a tree that had a crude cut in it; its limb had been severed to make room for electrical lines. On that cut, two mushrooms grew. Nature persisted.
After seeing documentation of the recent flooding around the world, I wondered what would happen to all the houses once the water evaporated. What if, nature persisted…and in the form of something that provided sustenance?
The mushrooms I chose to fabricate, Chicken of the Woods, are so named because they apparently taste like chicken when fried. They are easy to identify because of their fleshy orange, red and yellow leaves. Chicken of the Woods has an otherworldly look and that is what I was seeking. I wanted the house to feel as if it were going through a preternatural transformation.