JAMES B. MILLS PRISM PYRE
Statement by James B. Mills: Dances are celebrations and the act of celebratory movement evokes a certain jovial air which makes it difficult for anyone involved, from participant to viewer, to maintain a critical face during execution. Yet not all dances can be taken in a jovial vain: Salome danced famously for the head of a local favorite and one can only image the jig Nero did as the crackling flames cast shadows which erupted from the burning empire onto his fiddle. In essence, although the idea of dancing creates the air of excitement, the actual act may be celebrating part of life and history which should not be celebrated at all. The Prism Pyre installation evokes all aspects of the dance, from the jovial togetherness, to the forced happiness of participants in a dystopian society, to inviting audience participation. My work is based on an imagined far off civilization which originally creates the piece for a lost and unknown ritual, is lost and buried by time, then rediscovered as an artifact and interpreted incorrectly. This installation should be viewed as what it is: a piece taken out of context and presented improperly for public consumption. It is meant to be views from all sides and it’s meant to be interacted with, just like some dances are meant to be interacted with.