jump to navigation

Cassie Thornton – artist statement April 3, 2006

Cassie Thornton is a great friend and fellow artist. She’s also a like-minded Midwesterner, and we met in London of all places. I was studying full-time and she was on an exchange and she’s a ball of energy, continuously impressing me.

She just forwarded me her artist statement. As I’m not sure i’ll have the space to display her words, but want to make sure her statement lives on, i thought it appropriate to blockquote her statement here:

The piece adopted by Mr. Nick Normal is of a series of re-modeled utopian communities in the style of Le Corbusier. As I work in this mode, I uncover the contemporary culture of myth that has descended from 20th century governmental and artistic attempts to create a clearly-ordered conceptual foundation to inspire and manipulate the steadily growing disorderly masses. Focused specifically on the utopian ideals of Le Corbusier and their vexed adoption by the French government, I am interested in this last ditch effort to remedy a happy people from the reality of humanity.

To emphasize this idea of tonic culture, I am using mythically healing root vegetables to print the facades of the buildings. A teller of wives tales I know has described to me the properties of root vegetable juice, especially potatoes, as a remedy for fatal sickness. With this in mind, I have used this essence to create a contemporary model for the progress of civilization. I hope to participate alongside Le Corbusier in the thwarting of the corruption of humanity and who have made an actual attempt to oppose monumental forces that they disagree with.

The building adopted by Mr. Nick Normal is a truck stop in the process of printing and building a large structure with the ideals and rules of Le Corbusier. The process started by meticulously carving root vegetables to the specifications of individual window designs of various self contained communities designed by Le Corbusier. In this piece I modelled the shape of the building and the window design to represent Le Corbusier’s residential project designed for and completed in Marseille, France. The mode of social architecture developed for this project is revered by many but equally distrusted and hated by others who relate it to similarly constructed city housing in Paris. Le Corbusier’s complex vision of successful urban living was cyclical: for communities to come into being and support themselves will need to be deeply connected and dependant on nature, but to maintain their existence they must fertilize the world outside of their community with the cultural nutrients that develop within their isolation. I enact this utopian cycle by delivering this small bit of well intended architecture to the doorstep of Nick Normal.

Now you have to come to the opening to see what the work is all about! of course I’ll add an image of all the work after the opening. Cassie’s work is currently one of my favorites: part sculpture, part architecture, part text, a complete work.


1. Peekskill Project — normalblog Archive - September 21, 2006

[…] We started at the HVCCA. Even before then, because as we approached the center we first stumbled upon an installation adjoined to the wall of the center, by Cassie Thornton, a good friend of mine. I love Cassie’s work, I even have some of it in my own collection. This piece was a haphazard construction, a 2″x4″ wood frame wrapped in clear plastic with a slanted roof; inside were maquettes of landscapes and buildings, photos of children and older people. Bricks surrounded the outside foundation, as if to keep everything stable. The piece was titled “Infinite Museum”; the only thing unclear (to me) about Cassie’s work was if the maquettes were her own creation or that of those present in the accompanying documentary photographs. Given the inclusion of ‘museum’ in the title, Cassie’s role is a little bit questionable: is she collector, curator, spokesperson? What saves the work for me is the physical construction and allocation of the work, and it’s play on the micro/macro: included in the Peekskill Project, but a Museum in itself, adjacent to the HVCCA but open all the time, on the street; and of course the scale of the models included in the work. […]