Monkey King Has Visitors

Artist Statement

This is the earliest sculptural group, made in late 2009, early 2010, shortly after my arrival in Bellingham. One way that Kenyth enticed me to move from the San Francisco Bay to live with him in Bellingham, was to offer me his cottage, Solgarth, for the duration of my life with him. He had officially given his property to his children; however, he felt he could make this offer as “a long-term stay.” I took him up on it. He had made this offer to other, previous partners; but it seems I was the only one to attempt to make the cottage my own. I moved in with all my belongings and began to change the interior to suit my taste.

 

This was apparently shocking to Kenyth – he didn’t expect me to change things – only live respectfully in the cottage just the way he had created it. This caused one of our first fights.

 

“Francie! Solgarth is my sculpture that you are altering! How would you feel if someone came along and changed one of your sculptures in ways you hadn’t intended?”

 

“I wouldn’t like that at all. But you did give me Solgarth to use during my lifetime; and architecture is different from sculpture in that it’s supposed to be altered by the people who live in it – they need to make it their own. So maybe I should just consider myself a visitor here.”

 

This made Kenyth even more angry, that I might only be here temporarily. So, I dealt with the situation by making this installation called “Monkey King Has Visitors” – a big, territorial Bonobo and his acrobat “Visitors,” all three in a swinging dance of ladders and trapezes. It expresses the crazy glee I felt to be with Kenyth.

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"Monkey King Has Visitors"

wire netting and bamboo ladders

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"Monkey King Has Visitors"

wire netting and bamboo ladders

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One of the "Visitors"

wire netting and bamboo trapeze

"Monkey King Has Visitors" video