Emotional Decay

Baltimore, Maryland 2008

Tunnel detailEmotional Decay, 2008 MICAHannah Baker

Tunnel detail
Emotional Decay, 2008 MICA
Hannah Baker

Emotional Decay consisted of a 16-foot tunnel, open on each side. The tunnel’s height and width varied as it curved throughout its length, creating an unpredictable, claustrophobic space that fully engulfed the visitor, creating feelings of heightened anxiety. Once the viewer reached the middle of the tunnel, he or she could not see the beginning or end. This served as a visual metaphor for the confusion and anxiety associated with the human journey of self-identity.

The tunnel walls were covered in over 400 ceramic masks created from a single mold of the artist’s face. Each mask was raku fired, a temperamental ceramic firing technique that further differentiated the masks from each other, and that left each with smokey scent that permeated the tunnel, adding to the theme of decay and to the visitor’s sensory journey.