By Shiryn Ghermezian
The Queens College Art Center turned a former office space into a landscape filled with newspaper made spheres and curtains, giving a spin on formal recycling in the paper installation “Interior.”
The site- specific installation, created by visual and mixed media artist Suzanne Morlock, is set in a dimly lit room that also has its door locked. With these limitations, intentionally done by the artist, the audience is forced to see the installation only through a window in the door, which itself is covered with a draping of knitted newspaper.
“Because it wasn’t such a big space, it lent itself to a kind of “peak-a-boo aspect,” said Morlock. “I wanted to explore curiosity… [to have] noses pressed against the glass.”
The source material that the artist chose to work with was QC’s very own The Knight News. Each sphere shaped item in the installation was made of recycled copies of the student newspaper, collected by Rosenthal Library.
Morlock used flour and water to attach each page together to form piles of long rough “yarn,” which she then knitted and twinned. The process was “very labor intensive,” according to Morlock, with 70 percent of her time devoted to making the material into a pliable form and the other 30 percent for the actual knitting and twinning of the material.
“I wanted to use local materials and so I asked the [art center] staff what kind of publications come out of the college. To have the campus newspaper… it was just a natural thing; I had readily available art material,” said Morlock.
The installation’s unique use of paper also addressed the value of printed newspapers in competition with the ongoing rise of technology, which gives the installation a potential political reading, according to the Wyoming based artist.
“Even the day after papers come out, they turn into this other thing,” said Morlock, referring to a paper’s short -lived importance even when being a day old. “Interior” not only shows a different way of recycling material in general, but one that pertains specifically to newspapers and their value in today’s day and age.
“Morlock’s remediation of newspapers, an everyday object bound to history, is a fascinating commentary on an object’s value and importance,” said Tara Mathison, assistant curator at the Art Center. “Re- conceptualizing the newspaper as a sculptural structure, Morlock adds a new dimension to not only her chosen medium of The Knight News, but to the space it inhabits [in] the Art Library.”
“Interior” occupies a room on the sixth floor of the Rosenthal Library and will be on exhibit until Dec. 30.