I do not know how to play chess, but I was interested in the orders I perceived to govern the game—the hierarchy among the pieces on one side; the articulation of an equal but opposite side; and the hierarchy among the pieces of that other side.
I was interested in kinships among objects. I wanted to create sets of things, memorable and whole, so that a game of chess could, theoretically, be played. It was important that the pieces of one side hold together and in a way that made them inarguably other, as different from the opposing side as “black” is to “white.” The hierarchy within each family was also incredibly important. Each piece has it’s own particular import, behaviors, and associations and I needed to retain and wanted to build those. I liked that by placing a candle in the place of a knight, it redescribed the candle and the knight AND the objects flanking the candle.
I was also very interested in how all of the pieces that occupied the same spot in succession came to fall under that name or sign and, as a collection, became a new definition of that title. READ MORE
I have presented the project as a slideshow, in which I described the relationships I found among all the pieces. I also made a book that documents and describes all of the sets: Photographs of various chess sets are interspersed with diagrams and descriptive texts
The four photos below are “Religious Monarchy v. Scientific Democracy” in studio; “Coordination with Others v. Personal Comfort” in a bathroom at the Chatham Wayside Inn; “Adult Palette v. Child Palette” at Three Brothers’ Diner; and “Not Flat v. Flat” in a friend’s living room. Under each title, chess pieces relate via word play, color association, presupposition, and personal observation.