Plain, unglazed porcelain vases sit on polished plinths. Though otherwise carefully thrown, their tops are squashed and bent around the edges. Made to resemble a remembered description of a specific Tiffany Vase, they are reimagined replicas of a prized family heirloom. Caught in a constant frozen moment of near collapse they are fictional versions of the only object that survived a family’s turbulent past. An object passed on from one generation to the next to become a lone symbol of the proof of previous generations existence.
Based on an interview with a German immigrant who lives in New York and whose family story is marked by loss, Schwindt’s Tiffany Vases utilises a sculptural interpretation of that interview to explore the space between reality and the reliability of memory that depends on the objects that surround us or that which relies on our own activities and the telling of stories.
Through her work, Schwindt investigates the meaning and location of live-ness in performances and sculptures. Live-ness, here is enacted both by the actor and the observer. Installed in the small space of Gallery Lejeune, it refers both to the living and mutable memory of the interviewee rendered in porcelain and, now, to they ways in which walking around that memory as sculpture exacerbates the delicacy of its’ meaning. Schwindt envisions multiple and intertwined relations between performer, observer and object, etc like an actor that takes on different roles and positions through time.
Tiffany Vase follows Dinner, a unique event at Gallery Lejeune – an evening of food interwoven with live interventions of text, language and sound by Schwindt with opera singer Lisa Cassidy. Commissioned for Gallery Lejeune, the work unfolded over the evening exploring the relationship between language and the physical; seeing what would happen to communication and meaning if language and the voice were firstly separated from each other and then came together again.
The event was reviewed in frieze.com by Amy Sherlock: “… At Dinner was, on a micro-level, an experiment in community building – of the kind that happens all the time in daily life… Here, though, Schwindt’s intervention made me acutely sensitive of the extent to which we invariably perform ourselves socially, according to cultural norms of which we may or may not always be aware.”