Museum of University of Memphis, 1998
“At Home with a Telescope” essay and all project descriptions for this exhibition are written by Leslie Lubbers, Director, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee
“We all know about comfort zones, literal and metaphorical, and most of us have need of situations that offer relief from social, intellectual, economic, or environmental tensions. A house, when it is a psychological refuge as well as a domicile, is the most obvious comfort zone. In Todd Slaughter’s work, this might be further described as a domestic galaxy- clusters of beings and objects held together in a complex or relationships that constitutes private life. Comfort Zones: Domestic Galaxies, combines Slaughter’s latest work, “Protected Comforts,” a house sculpture, and three other pieces related to his meditations on the individual human’s relationship to the intermingles physical, social, and psychic universes.”
•“Beyond the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Reconfiguration, is a galaxy of pink and crystal-furred, life-sized house cats. Optimally adapted to locating comfort zones wherever they find themselves, these creatures tumble blithely through the endless twinkling heavens represented by mirrors on the ceiling and floor reflecting the cats as well as the curious viewer who temporarily joins the cats in their celestial antics.” Denture material, crystals, salt dry ice; some indiv. Cats,12”x9”x5”, 12”x27”x17”,1996.
• “Home Making, Reconfigured: a galaxy made of hundreds of pieces of miniature furniture, assembles wooden tables, chairs, hutches, couches, sideboards, beds, chests, cabinets- some broken, most well made in various period styles, all carefully charred black, and all suspended above the viewer in a dense yet, delicate tilted plane. Amidst the dark objects, rotating slowly like planets, are three
illuminated silver figures- a flying woman, a figure in fetal pose, and a whirling dervish.” 4’ x 12’ x 8’
• “Protected Comforts,” like a child’s dream playhouse, is a luminous, gabled structure raised atop a foundation of metal bars. Its structural members, roof, and walls are of a rigid translucent white material imprinted with mysterious dark patches and marks- magnifications of human skin. A mission-style wooden chair, its height amplified by a metal base, is its single furnishing. Activated by the entering viewer, the house is transformed into a theater with the occupation as its central, if passive, character while various uninvited visitors, some threatening, some merely pestiferous, peer in windows, rattle locks, or climb onto the roof, branding clubs, cameras, and candy bars.”1998, aluminum, polycarbonate, video, projected still images, wooden chair; 11’ x 6’ x 5’
• “Trying to Find You, is a huge silvery pitcher hovering in the gallery, upended. Rotating slowly, it emits strange music, sometimes low and nearly inaudible, sometimes louder and plaintive. Visible only if the viewer stands under the pitcher’s mouth is a violin that resonates the sound created by the rotation. Meanwhile,l like a chilly moon, the pitcher casts its shadow across the floor.” 1998, silver-leafed violin and aluminum pitcher