A few years back when I studied a course in History of Art I was introduced to the latin term “Horror Vacui” also known as kenophobia. The Italian critic Mario Praz came up with this term to describe the cluttered design of the Victorian Age, though the same expression was used long before, dating back to Aristotle.
I was really excited to learn a term describing something I felt but was never able to put into words, it was the fear of the empty space. I wouldn’t say that I have a real phobia from empty spaces, but I am continuously attracted to stuff, and like to have many things around me, I tend to overwhelm myself with my an attachment to objects and I wonder why.
The fear of an empty space is a very common human desire to fill up the void with content. We’ve all seen it in clustered websites that try to use every pixel on the screen… It has other implications such as filling up the room with music/ TV or other distractions. It seems to be another way for humans to distract themselves of their inner self, their voids.
When creating the diorama I was inspired also by Yayoi Kusama, Anish Kapoor and Tomas Saraceno’s work –
My diorama is made to be a model of an adult playground, made to reflect the idea of Horror Vacui through it’s nature. It is meant to over saturate the visitors with mirroring reflections.
This environment offers a few different angles of perspective made by climbing or swinging above. There are reflective rocks to balance walk on.
On the right it’s a giant reflective beanbag where you can sink inside it, or climb on top of it. The beanbag covers a dark room which will be the place to de-saturate, where darkness and emptiness can be found. from all the reflections of the space. It will be quite and will be covered by black rugs on it’s 4 walls, ceiling and floor.
I used only material I had ready to be used laying around my bedroom. Since I’ve been so attached to things, I’ve been collecting materials and saving things from getting trashed for years.
adding the little wire people I made
and there we go