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Balance, 1989
This installation is the result of a 1989 residency at MIT.
Borrowing medicine-wheel symbolism from Native-American culture, the installation became a personal investigation into spiritual and cultural matters.
According to Native American folk lore, you enter the medicine wheel from the south, the place of innocence and birth. The west is the realm of the heart, emotions and feelings. The east represents matters of the mind, the intellectual side of life. The north is the balance between mind and heart, or wisdom. Campopiano uses this conceptual format to layout the room.We begin in the southwest and the instinct to create life. Whether you see the blue wires as blood vessels, neurons or lightning, this section refers to the birth of a child and the creation of the cosmos. In the west, the bed conjures up images of sex, birth and death. Once you get over the mild shock of seeing 52 mice in the bed springs, one can observe the mice actually acting out these matters of the heart.Thinking about the recycling of emotions, Campopiano added another element to the bed. While preparing the bedsprings for the mice, he added over 50 photos from an old family album found at a flea market. The mice wasted no time in tearing up the photos making nests for the many babies to be born during the exhibition. The only photo left at the end of the show was the one reserved for the high chair. This, Campopiano admits, is the most
personal element in the show......his first thoughts about fathering a child. "The more I thought about what it means to fully experience the emotional side of life, the more I returned to family and children. One of the most positive feelings come from the most basic of human events--the creation of a family."In the east and matters of the mind, Campopiano builds a high-tech cathedral to science. The glass tubes are suspended from the ceiling in an altar-like configuration and are alive tropical fish. The medical cart contains all the apparatus needed to sustain the three different life-support systems.
The train, with a laser for a caboose, begins its trek form just above the distillery. As the train passes the second tube, a relay shuts off the lights giving the laser light more visibility.

The red laser beam projects backward from the rear of the train. As the beam intersects a small mirror it shoots red light down the tubes to illuminate the aeration bubbles and the fish.
The antique mirror has more to do with the bridging of mind and heart. As best illustrated by the yin-yang symbol, the mirror became the dot from its opposite. To create a western counterpart, Campopiano created a high-tech still over the bed to supply life sustaining water to the mice. In the center of the gallery sets a large dish-like table. The table is layered with sand and is inhabited by a colony of 500 red ants. The table is really what this show is all about. It's about balance. The symbiotic relationship these ants have with their landscape, creates a balance in nature...a lesson to be learned from Native American culture.
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Copyright@1991-2013, Remo Campopiano, 3335 Johnson Street, NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Phone: (614) 353-8290, Email: remocampopiano@gmail.com.