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Andrea Peña
States of Transmutation
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Asim Waqif
Assume the Risk
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Shohei Katayama
As Below, So Above
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Doreen Chan
HalfDream: Another Room
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After School

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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Ann Hamilton



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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A simple 3-story row house, gutted, is the space for the installation.

First floor: A visitor coming from the street level entrance hears the sounds of birds, smells melting wax, and sees stalagmites of wax rising from the floor. The origins are revealed only by going up the stairs.

Second floor: On a steel table is an old miner's ledger. Wax, dripping from the ceiling above, slowly covers the book. Heating elements below cause the wax to continue to melt, taking it through slits in the floor.

Third floor: A steel framed glass cabinet, 7 feet long, contains wax heads. A heating element causes the heads to melt, and the wax drips to the floor. Another heating element in the floor causes the wax to drip farther, to the floor below.

Here are 30 canaries, traditionally used to test the oxygen supply for miners. The canaries are provided with food and water, and perch under the eaves. They build little nests in warm spots and begin to lay eggs.

The windows are smoked with soot from candles. The birds don't fly into the glass but leave brush marks from their wings on the blackened panes.

In collaboration with the 1991 Carnegie International.


The Carnegie International: October 19, 1991 - February 16, 1992
About The Artist

Ann Hamilton is a visual artist known for her site-responsive large-scale installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Her ephemeral projects are based on her career-long interest in felt experience as the basis for recognition and knowledge and in the relationships between written language and tactile experience, cloth and body, motion and stillness.

Hamilton has received the National Medal of Arts, MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, the Heinz Award, and was selected to represent the United States at the 1991 São Paulo Biennial and the 1999 Venice Biennale.

She received a BFA in Textile Design from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Sculpture from the Yale University School of Art. Hamilton currently lives in Columbus, Ohio where she is a Distinguished University Professor of Art at The Ohio State University.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

changing installation

Over the Border

Archives of the Carnegie International, 1896-1991


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