Wallpaper|October 2020
Sculptor Genesis Belanger meditates on mourning and loss

One blustery morning in early February, Genesis Belanger is showing us around her studio, in a 1930s industrial building in Brooklyn. The American sculptor is at a pivotal moment in her career – having mounted installation for the New Museum’s Storefront Window last year, she is now working on solo exhibitions for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT and the Consortium in Dijon, France. Works in progress dotted throughout the space suggest a recent, frenetic activity, yet the atmosphere is also oddly subdued: four mood board images pinned against a wall show historic interiors with furnishings cloaked in dust sheets; in the space nearby, what appears to be a dining table, chair, ottoman, upright piano and fireplace – custom-made plinths for Belanger’s ceramic works – are similarly shrouded in muted grey fabric.

The funereal mood, which now seems to have presaged the imminent pandemic, reflects Belanger’s fascination with ritual. ‘I was thinking of how any transition, even a positive one, results in a period of grieving because change is inherently a loss. That brought me to the question: how do we support people in the most extreme circumstances?’

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