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A collaboration with Erin Elyse Burns, Buoyancy/Gravity explores the tension between help and harm.

A life preserver in the form of a yoke, these two concepts rub against each other, never able to reconcile. The yoke straps on with rough rope, cutting into the skin. Made from ceramic, it is heavy, solid, and secure. Yet it is fragile, one misstep and it can break into a thousand pieces.


The weight of the object on land would imply security. However, in the water it impedes any effort to stay afloat, and thereby becomes a severe liabitliy. Multiple life preservers attached to the yoke attempt to provide the semblance of security, yet force the wearer's head further towards the water.


It was important that the object actually be used and documented in situ. Mills wore the object in the arboretum of Lake Washington, while Burns documented her actions. Displayed together the object and photographic documetation provide an additional tension. The moment captured can never be created; all the viewer can do is imagine using the object themselves with the clues provided.





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