An Order was a site-specific installation that responded to the energy and architecture of the former St Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington, VT.
Excerpts from an essay written by critic Amy Rahn for Overnight Projects:
The floors of the former St. Joseph’s Providence Orphan Asylum shine where feet have recently tracked through the dust, pushing it aside, clearing a path. The five artists whose works in this space comprise An Order spent the months before contending with this space and its history, gently disturbing its stillness, the strange unresolved air—clearing a path.
Allegations of abuse from the Orphanage’s operating years continue to gather like grim ghosts, haunting the abandoned building with their dark inescapable realities. As these artists began to consider what to create in this space, the building’s ghosts loomed; what could be made in a space clouded with trauma, a space thick with what Eliot might have called faded air?
Another room, where monofilament, thin as memory, stitches the closets and cabinets in a frantic web, connecting every corner, holding the room in suspension. The transparent threads trace lost passages through the space, barring its use. Mary Zompetti creates a space to which there is no returning; who are we, standing in the doorway?
Zompetti’s crowd of cyanotypes, little toy houses silhouetted against brilliant blue emulsion—are not quite dollhouses, not quite photographs—they are outlines, dreams of home. Here they pile, all in the corner, every angle imagined. Roofline pitch, door here, window, all the entrances and all the exits are here—framed and imaginary. Nearby, an overhead-projector holds a house within a house, upside-down. Home hovers on the future horizon overland, beyond, in a projected space, beyond these walls. The masonry presses against it.