Harriet Sanderson - Lag

LAG (A Holding Pattern in Building 9), 1999

Lag, a 5000 square foot indoor/outdoor installation, was conceived as a metaphorical search for the service men and women left waiting in military hospitals.

Eleven windows and five double doorways provided views into the interior illuminated with horizontal streams of theatrical lighting, suggesting searchlights.

Portions of 400 canes and approximately 100 original site chairs, plus game tables, smoking stands, mattresses and pillows found in storage were arranged in the courtyard and surrounding rooms of a Sand Point dormitory.

The artwork suggests behaviors of waiting in the liminal reality of hospital spaces. The canes and chairs were balanced upon one another without fasteners, alluding to the destabilizing influence of illness and disability.

The subject population of this installation was young and predominantly male. The aggressive system of hooking canes was both functional and expressive, capturing chairs in groupings that suggested strange alliances, defensive postures, parades and queues through the corridors.

Lag was one of five summer installations commissioned for the former Sand Point Naval Air Station in 1999 by the Seattle Arts Commission. It was made possibly entirely with the 1% for Art funds generated when the facility was refitted for community use.