February 10, 2011

Morris Library to host verbal, visual art event

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Visitors can experience a verbal, visual art event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library.

Interpretor is a large, multi-media art piece and a provocative interactive art event, a living sculpture of sorts, according to creator Summer Joy Hills-Bonczyk. A Minneapolis native and master’s student in ceramics at SIUC, she crafted the large wood, ceramic and cardboard piece and installed it this week in the library’s atrium.

The piece will truly come to life during an interactive performance Friday, Feb. 11, from noon to 3 p.m. Anytime during those hours, people can walk the circumference of the piece and speak into any of the several “escuchaphones” and hear their words come back to them in a different language. That’s because 15 or 20 bilingual volunteers will be inside the colorful piece broadcasting international interpretations in six different vocabularies.

“Interpretor explores the concept of interpret by engaging visitors in an interactive, multilingual art happening,” said Hills-Bonczyk, a graduate assistant in the Morris Library preservation lab. She said her art incorporates movement, meditation, communication, writing, collaboration, sculpture and engagement with materials and processes and in this instance, her love of foreign languages and multiculturalism as well. She is fluent in Spanish, and has three years experience as a Spanish medical interpreter and has lived in Argentina.

Hills-Bonczyk said Interpretor parallels the experience of interpreting art with interpreting other languages and that it also speaks to the tension between interior and exterior space as a “metaphorical symbol of body, self, abundance and containment.”

Interpretor will remain on display at the Morris Library rotunda until Wednesday, Feb. 16.