Blue Monday, Ben Bowden Lee (Atlanta, GA). 
May 2017. Laser prints, handcrafted vellum transfer on glass, wood, wire dish rack, blue collection materials.

According to Lee, if one were to creak along the bowed wood floors and disturb the dust kept resting along the walls and banisters, they would witness the aching breaths of Elsewhere. Every bit of the collection appears caught in the limbo of childish innocence and aged experience, arrested in adolescence. If one were to peek out the cloudy glass windows, they would feel the strange passing of time and wonder exactly how long have they been there.

Blue Monday is an interactive installation featuring found imagery and objects designed to explore themes of adolescence. Brought together are juxtapositions such as inclusion/exclusion, excitement/boredom, rebellion/conformity, innocence/experience, and joy/malaise. This array of photographic illustrations is appropriated from various Psychological and Anatomical textbooks. The celebration and tragedy of puberty is acted out in an assemblage of blue, vellum-like images on sheets and shards of glass. Fitting into slots on a wooden base, mounted images operate both independently and grouped. At the window’s sill, natural light from the east illuminates and activates the images like stained glass. Beautifully ambiguous and bizarre, the internal narrative of each component alters and changes as constantly shifting arrangements form new meanings and relationships.

Viewers are invited to rearrange, experiment, and play with these glass while wearing white gloves. Along with the images, the installation provides seating, toys, games, and literature used directly and indirectly during Lee’s residency. Visitors and residents alike can use the space for quiet meditation or social interaction bathed in blue color created by light streaming through the glass. If one were to find themselves there in the blue light, resting amongst the creaking, dusty floors, they would find themselves in the illuminated company of Blue Monday.