Anna Berlin

USA, Mount Holyoke College

Spring 2014 Program Participant

Final Project Statement “Presence & Absence”

Every city, every room, and even every white wall has a story to tell. It tells us about the time of day, location, and objects that fill it. A white wall in Denmark is not the same as a white wall in New York City. But we tend to only see a white wall as white, because that’s what we know it to be. Michael Foucault in his book The Order of Things, writes “Breaking up ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the wild profusion of existing things, and continuing long afterwards to disturb and threaten with collapse our age-old distinction between Same and Other.”We can realize order by disrupting order. I applied this concept to my paintings by both observing and photographing white walls in different locations. I wanted to read a space not through physical objects, but through light and color. These paintings are the stories of a moment in a room as told by its white walls.


Self-Portrait Project work, with Spring Project fellow Mequitta Ahuja:

“Retreat from Reality” 6-week Project Unit: 

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Work-in-Progress from first studio exercise “Sight, Site & Seriality”

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Intro Unit, Week 3: “Tempo Zulu” Project

For the third and final week of the intro unit, for her “Tempo Zulu Project” Anna created a proposal for paving stones to be installed in the historic heart of Siena, the “Castelvecchi” neighborhood, with the inscriptions “Do not not touch” and “è (severemente) vietato non toccare”. The project was an thoughtful and provocative and playful response to the tensions she has observed between the contemporary city of Siena and its historic legacy, and to the Tempo Zulu project specifically.

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Intro Unit, Week 2: “Mapping and Archiving” Project

For her Mapping & Exploring Project in week 2, Anna created a project exploring Palm-reading as mapping, cut-out watercolor of hands and hand-written instructions for palm reading.

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Intro Unit, Week 1: “Out of the Gates” Project

In the first week of the program, for her “Out of the Gates” project, Anna responded to the location of Porta Romana through an accordian book created with pastels, responding to the different views of the large structure, also responding to the work on view at Galleria Continua.

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