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Document Type


Publication Date

August 2021


Claiborne St. (Spirit of the Staircase)


This installation references a borrowed memory of haunting told to me as a child, through which I communicate liminality and compartmentalization. In stark contrast to malevolent displays of ghosts in the media I had grown up consuming, this childhood story of witnessing loving proof of the afterlife made an incredible impression on me. The “spirit of the staircase” is a humorous phrase coined by Diderot to describe thinking of the perfect response when one is already on their way out - here I am using it to make sense of my own continual gesture to reach the unknowable. By substituting soft materials for a rigid structure, it becomes a gentle mediated experience between myself and the viewer.

These stairs cannot be accessed physically, the viewer must interact and participate by way of walking through the thin layer of dirt covering red resin tiles on the ground below the fabric structure. This participation is documented by a ghost footprint, and becomes a collective memory. Using the language of color both on the ground and in the fabric itself, I communicate its layered meaning - being confronted with a stop sign or warning, blood, sexuality, vitality, fire, martyrdom, the presence of god, the damnation of hell, or the simple sweetness of a cherry. Like a specter at the top of a staircase might freeze us in our tracks, I suspend the devoid structure in between time. I want to invite the viewer to be a conduit, as I have been through my experiences.


Claiborne St. (Spirit of the Staircase)