Cibacron F was part of the Philadelphia Sculptors' Catagenesis show at Globe Dye Works in Philadelphia, PA. The primary purpose of the factory was bleaching and dyeing cotton yarns, particularly mercerized cotton. This piece reanimates one of the factory spaces using this basic bleaching/dyeing function as a metaphor illustrating Globe Dye Works’ movement from purposeful utility, to abandonment and gradual rebirth. The title Cibacron F refers to a type of dye used specifically for mercerized cottons.
Two rows of white mercerized cotton thread hang from the cross beams to the floor, approximately 15 feet tall by 18 feet wide. These pieces of white thread act as projection surfaces, catching the light from projectors at both ends of the room. The actual projections consist of gradual color transitions that appear to dye the white threads. At the start, the vibrancy of the colors creates a bright and active space, but as more colors are introduced into the projection, the colors gradually mix into murky browns, mirroring the color of the spaces aging walls. Eventually, a white light weaves its way back into the projection, appearing to bleach the thread back to its original white and allowing the process to begin again. Viewers are encouraged to enter the color field and become part of the process itself.
This piece is an illustration of Catagenesis, the concept that breakdown, instead of being an end, becomes a beginning as it progresses to reorganization, and then ideally, renewal. In Cibacron F, the transition from lively colors to murky browns echoes the history of Globe Dye Works from a bustling hub of human enterprise to an abandoned factory. By reintroducing the white light, a cleansing process takes place, dyeing the cotton back to its original state. Rather than being left to decay, the space is re-purposed and renewed.
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