Passage: Monolith, 2016
Concrete, wood, Plexiglas, solar-powered light
May 3, 2016 – August 1, 2016
“Passage: Monolith” is an interactive sculpture exploring the theme of
“Changing Landscapes”. The social landscape of Harlem has evolved from Native Americans, to European settlers, Jews fleeing violent persecution, and former slaves escaping the Jim Crow South. The result is a melting pot of cultural richness carved from fierce oppression and galvanized by the strength of hope. Passage: Monolith is monument to the character of the human spirit. Passage: Monolith functions on two levels: as a singular and more traditional static sculpture, and as a performance piece activated by a viewer’s participation. The sculpture is built of three cement blocks arranged to make a passage or doorway. The structure is 9 feet tall, 7 feet wide and 2 feet thick. One string of white LED lights will run along the inside of the doorway, inviting the viewer to not just walk around the sculpture, but “pass through to the other side.” The LED string will be placed inside a groove carved into the concrete blocks. The string will be protected behind thick plexi-glass modified to sit flush within the concrete form. Light is also used as a transitional component. As the sun falls, the glow from the light will become more visible and there will be a shift in the way the structure is seen, as the sculpture will invert itself. The opening inside the doorway is a tall rectangle and the shape of a traditional monolith. While occupying the opening, the participant becomes the Monolith, the symbol of transition and hope. Passage: Monolith is an ode to the generations of migrants that enriched the landscape of Harlem.
Jon Gomez is a Mexican-American artist living in Brooklyn, New York. He was born in East Los Angeles, briefly raised in Mazatlan, Mexico, before settling in the suburbs of Valencia, California. In 2007, Jon graduated from California Institute of the Arts, where he focused on drawing and presentation. Shortly after graduation (08’), Jon accepted a position as faculty at California Institute of the Arts. In the summer of 2005, Jon was one of four artist commissioned by renowned science fiction writer Ray Bradbury to create a presentation that visually depicted several of his short stories and novels. In 2012, Jon was featured in a joint show exhibiting 14 of his works at Nye + Brown in Culver City. Jon is currently enrolled in The School of Visual Arts’ MFA program.