Margin of Safety
Cast bronze, maple & pine wood, wool Navy blankets,
cast aluminum, broom straw & handles, waxed thread, sound, video projection and film.
Installation dimensions variable
After organizing Gigantic Women Miniature Work in 1989, a collaborative of six School of the Art Institute MFA graduates* created Margin of Safety for Chicago's MCA using domestic forms and images to explore notions of personal security in an insecure world. Solid, giant-sized drawers, their openings blocked and useless, stood as if toppled from a huge chest. These lead to a pair of massive structures made of folded and stacked blankets. A passage between the structures provided a place of retreat, resonant with the recorded sound of breathing. Leaning against a sidewall, a six-handled broom and dustpan suggested the awkward task of collectively maintaining the places we inhabit. Projected on the back wall, the film and video image of a pair of hands shaking moths from a blanket captured a persistent attempt to fend off decay. Like the collective maneuvering of a six-handled broom, it seemed at once a futile and hopeful gesture (*Monica Bock, Mary Carlisle, Cathy Lynn Gasser, Melissa Goldstein, Sandrine Sheon, Catherine Smith)