Rumen’s Berth, 2018

Fabricated steel, plywood, papier-mâché, tar, and tar paper.

9’ x 9’ x 4.5’

Rumen’s Berth was 1 of 4 sculptures exhibited in ‘Brain Janitor’ at Artspace in Raleigh, North Carolina in winter 2018/19.

Rumen’s Berth deals with contrasting themes of a vessel and a skin, interior and exterior, and the cyclical nature of life and death. A Rumen is ‘the first stomach of a ruminant, which receives food or cud from the esophagus, partly digests it with the aid of bacteria, and passes it to the reticulum.’ The title of this work references the farm animal’s digestive system while also animating it as a character with a name. A berth is ‘a ship's allotted place at a wharf or dock’. The cantilevered stance of this orb suggest it may be turning over, bobbing, or about to collapse.

Brain Janitor is a sculpture exhibition by artist Dane Winkler.  It features large scale works constructed of various materials including a braided rug, papier-mâché, fabricated steel, and a hollow mattress.  The works have developed out of Winkler’s vocabulary utilizing concepts and materials reminiscent of a farmyard landscape. Often times the sculptures provoke a sense of poetry harkening back to his roots related to homesteading and ones most basic needs. The sculptures characterize a mysterious familiarity to function - be it otherworldly or local. In Brain Janitor the materials elicit a more private intention as Winkler begins to explore manipulated recognizable objects alongside crafted components - What conversation develops when a used mattress inflates and deflates like an organ? By reconsidering these forms through transformations their impressions are modified. How can objects become alive in their gesture or action? These substances are taken out of context compared with more inscrutable forms that hint at function or motion, yet suggest a frozen instance of time. The work relates to the body in various ways ranging from their personal history as a cradle for the body, to an abstraction that empathizes with absence, or the miracle of birth and death. The Proposed Brain Janitor is the keeper of these sentiments. It organizes these images and memories when appropriate, and makes mistakes all the same.