In 2009, with my daughter Ausrine Plioplys, we created a marvelous wall installation, The Brain Deconstructed / Reconstructed. We recycled previous works on canvas, from the Neurotheology sequence, by cutting them into one foot squares and dry mounting them to boards. The panels were affixed to the walls with double-sided tape.
There were three installation pieces, “Memory”, “Vision” and “Language Triptych”. Each was 8 feet tall, and the longest was “Vision” with a length of 32 feet. The other pieces were 12 feet or 24 feet in length.
The panels were placed in six layers, in keeping with the six layers of the human cerebral cortex. The panels were also organized vertically, in keeping with the vertical, columnar organization of our brains.
The actual distribution of the pieces was determined by using a totally random, yet strictly defined, process. This was to simulate the random nature of how our minds wander, yet always within defined parameters.
In “Language Triptych” the panels included word fragments. In contrast, “Vision” used only colored panels, with no lettering, purposefully so.
“Language Triptych” consisted of three parts, “Language,” “Integration” and “Association.” On this website, a virtual tour of the exhibit is available. You can navigate from room to room, and actually come in for close-up views. When you enter the “Language Triptych” to the left is “Language” which includes many grey-colored pieces. This was done to pararallel our use of white and black print for language communication. Immediately to the right of “Language,” is “Integration,” and to the right of that is “Association.” The flow of concepts was, from left to right, in the same direction in which we read, starts with words in black and white (grey), then to integration of the verbal concepts, on to association with other cognitive domains, including vision and memory. This triptych was an attempt to simulate our own multifaceted cognitive processes. Walking into this room was like walking into a mind, a brain, a skull.
“Memory” was designed by Ausrine—the Y-shaped endings of the installation simulate the structure of immunoglobulins, which serve important memory functions in our immune system. There are many biochemical and functional similarities between our neurologic and immune systems.
This exhibit was dedicated to Algimantas Kezys, a close personal friend of mine. Very early in my life, when I was deciding to leave medicine to pursue art, Algimantas was a very important confidant. He gave me support and encouragement when I needed it the most. I am very grateful that he was able to attend the opening ceremony.