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deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum / June 15 - October 6, 2013

Domestic Integrities surveys local and seasonal patterns and rituals of interior domestic landscapes, the way we use what we resourcefully find around us to artfully make ourselves at home. Establishing a plant-animal-human trilogy with the Edible Estates (est. 2005) series of front yard food gardens and the Animal Estates (est. 2008) initiatives for urban wildlife architecture, Domestic Integrities turns it’s attention towards the interior environments of humans, and the ways in which local resources are digested into their homes.

THE DOMESTIC INTEGRITY GARDEN is a circular cultivated bed planted directly outside of the interior rug installation. Native plants used for foraging food, dying textiles, attracting pollinators, medicinal remedies, herbal seasoning, basket weaving, fiber spinning, or even decorative flowers are publicly tended to feed the Domestic Integrity rug with immediately available materials through the seasons.

The garden at the deCordova is planted in the parking lot, aligned with the entry to the gallery. The asphalt is removed from a 18’-9” diameter circle, the precise size of the rug indoors. Fragments of asphalt are piled up around the perimeter to retain a mound of local soil, compost and amendments. The garden is casually planted with a variety of native edibles, herbals, medicinals, and pollinator attractors, mulched with gathered leaf litter. Other zones within the circle are designated for composting, cooking, and dining. The garden is regularly tended and harvested through the season. Gathered materials with domestic uses are brought into the gallery for display on the rug, and processing in an adjacent workshop area by Keith Clougherty (local artist and student), who will also be tending the garden.

DOMESTIC INTEGRITIES are the arranged / assembled / baked / built / canned / concocted / composed / cooked / created / dried / made / pickled / preserved / spun / stewed / woven / etc. materials harvested from the adjacent garden. These may be as simple as a carefully composed bowl of just picked ripe fruit, an arrangement of fresh flowers and herbs, an infused tea, or even a pile of rocks - or as complex as a pickled vegetable combination, a preserved fruit, a baked bread, a personal table setting style, a hand-dyed textile, a paper made from gathered plant pulp, or an herbal medicinal remedy.

DOMESTIC INTEGRITY FIELD is the spirally stitched circular crocheted rug of donated textiles upon which the project is presented, functioning as a charged site for testing, performing, and presenting how we want to live. This gradually expand as they travel from city to city. The Domestic Integrities are ceremoniously placed on low pedestals on the crocheted rug. Some may remain on display for weeks while others may change daily, but there is always something fresh to smell, touch, drink and maybe taste. Visitors are invited to take off their shoes, make themselves at home, sit down and spend time with that day’s various Domestic Integrities, which provide a 'live broadcast' of what is happening outside at that moment, in that place, in that season.

The 18’-9” diameter rainbow-patterned rug arrives to the deCordova from the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, where it was made with local residents out of their donated clothes, linens, and textiles.

DOMESTIC INTEGRITY ARCHIVE grows as it travels with the project from city to city recording, presenting, and preserving through various media. Each Domestic Integrity is tagged with hand-written details such as title, author, story, description, ingredients, and possibly instructions, also entered into the project log at the center of the archive, among other artifacts, photographs, video clips, audio stories, reference materials, and preservable Domestic Integrities themselves as an ever expanding global survey of domestic culture of human resourcefulness. Materials from the deCordova installation will travel to the Walker Art Center for a Fall 2013 project exhibition.

Curator: Dina Deitsch, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Thanks to: Erin Poor and Emily Garner, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Assistant/gardener/caretaker: Keith Clougherty
Local partners: The Food Project, Lindentree Farm, Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Blue Heron Farm, Breton Meadow Farm, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Lincoln Agricultural Commission.