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Teen Summer Workshop Series
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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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John Massey

From the Dawn's Early Light Until Twilight's Last Gleaming


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Two photographs hand on the walls of the adjoining rooms. Each appears to be of the empty room in which it hangs.

In the photographs, though, small details are different. The floorboards are a little straighter. Molding, blemished by years, is smooth again. Sunlight streams through the windows at unnatural angles. The doorknobs are gone, the fire pull is missing. And the camera's point of view seems to be from behind the dividing wall between the rooms.

Only a model, meticulously built, could have been photographed from that position.

Artist Statement

My response to the small adjoining rooms on the second floor of 1414 Monterey was to fabricate a scale model of each. One model was lit for dawn light, while the other was lit for sunset. Both small illuminated interiors were shot with a large format camera and printed as 23" x 15" sepia-toned photographs. Each image was matted, framed, and hung in each of the respective rooms for the duration of the exhibition period.

I intended these photographs to act as a kind of beaux-arts memorial. They commemorate the ideal presence of a sentient viewer, standing within the body of the actual rooms.


Factory Installed: October 8 - December 23, 1988
About The Artist

John Massey was born in Toronto. He attended Trent University and obtained his degree from the Ontario College of Art and Design University. He creates installation art and works with photography and sculpture. His work has received many awards such as a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Gershon Iskowtiz Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

More from this Artist

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Empty Music

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B.C.C 3000


Give artists the time, space and resources to create remarkable works of art that help us see our world in new ways.

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