Chapel of Yes
May 10th - July 14th 2013
Tops is pleased to announce CHAPEL OF YES, an installation by Terri Phillips.
Terri Phillip's work uses abstract narrative to explore history, memory, meaning and identity. Reflecting her life in Los Angeles and her childhood in the South, Phillip's Chapel of Yes is a confluence of the Light and Space tradition of California and ecclesiastical Southern culture. The uncanny compounding of the phenomenal and the spiritual place equal importance on both site and place.
Concomitantly modern and ancient, Chapel of Yes formally references James Turrell's skyspaces, catacombs, geometric abstraction, and the early underground churches that existed before the Edict of Milan. Chapel of Yes evolved as both a response to the Tops space and as an attempt to create a feeling from a previous life in Memphis. Phillips recounts "There was a small chapel on Poplar Avenue near my parents house when I was growing up. After I got my drivers license I used to go there on my own. It was never locked and no one else was ever there. I developed a deep relationship with that space. It was torn down several years ago."
Considering a chapel as a rough idea of meditative space, Chapel of Yes transfigures the subterranean Tops gallery by creating an immersive environment consisting of a baptismal tank with a live catfish, a set of geometrically abstracted steps based on the pattern from a Gees Bend quilt, a pew large enough for two people to sit close and a stalactite/stalagmite paraffin wax sculpture. The coal chute that leads from the south end of the space to the street above has been silver leafed, transforming it into a reflective slab that projects light from the outside world. A special silver chain sculpture will be on view in the anteroom next to the gallery and offered in an edition of seven.