For The Grey Flame and the Brown Light, Corin Hewitt has fused two communal grounds for play - the auditorium stage and the gymnasium floor. For two days a week during the month of July, Hewitt is working both underneath and through the surface of this stage/floor. This rearranged gymnasium floor was initially painted according to the layouts of four seasonal sports. The colors of the marks on the floor are mixtures he has taken from photographs of each season. Each amalgamated color naturally moves toward either grey or brown depending on the quantity of greens, blues, yellows, reds, whites and blacks in each seasonal photograph.
The underside of the stage/floor resembles a section of forest and contains a spectrum of "natural" materials from Vermont. There are both living and dead plant materials as well as insects crawling throughout. Aside from the living leaf matter of the forest, most all of the colors naturally gravitate toward brown and grey. For this exhibit, Hewitt follows a process where he scans the browns and grey surfaces that he finds in the rocks, ash, soil, and decaying vegetal matter. He uses Photoshop to "dissolve" these scans into an average single color. The resulting colors are then supersaturated into vibrant monochromes that are printed out and shed from the piece. These monochromes amplify the vibrancy and fertility that these browns and grey contain. With time, the monochrome photographs themselves will move toward browns and grays as they decay.
Hewitt also uses pedestals that are the same four "seasonal" Vermont colors to raise and lower the material through the stage. While he is under the floor isolating, forming, and shaping this material the process is documented via a live video feed in the back room of the gallery. Studio lights with three primary colored filters illuminate all the activities below the stage.
This focus on the potency of browns and grays is Hewitt's way of thinking about the ground as an active space. Using the decomposed colors of brown and grey as a way to consider the compression of color over time, Hewitt brings vitality to a natural history of color. He engages the cycles of material that make up the ground as a location of fertility as well a place of history. Hewitt's process in this work examines how these cycles of existence, compression, and dissolution gives us our sense of firmament.
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