Vigil 1988

Gretchen Faust
Factory Installed: October 8 – December 23, 1988
performance, silk, steel, stone, paint, water

The two rooms Compline and Narcissus are projects in the series Vigil which includes drawings paintings and other performances Compline The air is redolent...


The two rooms, Compline and Narcissus, are projects in the series Vigil, which includes drawings, paintings and other performances.

Compline. The air is redolent of beeswax. Walls and ceiling are black and the floor is lined with sheets of steel. Lengths of black silk stretch from the ceiling, down one wall, across the floor, and up the opposite wall back to the ceiling. Another length of the material intersects it to form a cross. At certain times, the artist lay beneath the cloth for hours, unmoving and silent.

Narcissus. In the adjoining room, the walls and floor are silver, the ceiling white. Under a covered window sits a carved trough of stone filled with water. Black silk, draped into the water, extends the length of the room forming a cross with another piece of cloth. Water slowly stains the silk. Lighting is bright but cold.

Artist Statement

Much of my work, by its very nature, involves counteracting the object-value system decreed by a market economy which views art and artist only in terms of myth and/or commodity. The work currently takes the form of performances limited to 1-3 hours and several series of sculptures which include unstable materials (salt, water, wax, silk, burnt moss), as well as projects which result in the literal giving away or eventual destruction of the sculpture or its components. 

I think of the art object as a medium, through which the function of art becomes that of a catalyst for thoughts, ideas and actions, not specific to an art audience or environment. The relationship between audience and art/artist and how art functions beyond its physical means as an object is what constitutes the art process. To conclude, I feel that art is an activity – one not limited to pure 

About the Artist

Gretchen Faust was born in 1961 in Stoneham, MA. She lives and works in Totnes, Devon, UK. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Canada.