Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box
Micki Lippe gave me the lunch box that used to belong to her daughter. She also gave me a book of poetry written by Tanya, published posthumously. Together they formed a commission; use one to make the other into something, which at least would get the old black relic out of the basement.
As an implement, a lunch box suggests forward planning, nourishment, and the day-to-day banality of life. But without its rightful owner? As an inheritance, the container became a reliquary. Though less tangible, the poems are a more instructive fragment of her life. They reference her – her feelings, her body. Yet her eyes never saw nor skin touch the bound object.
The box’s meaning again shifted when transferred into my hands, radically. Through reinterpretation it is now literally intertwined with the poetry of Tanya’s life, its former narrative burden becoming the liberator of its form.
This work is currently installed at the Bellevue Arts Museum as a part of BAM Biennial 2016: Metalmorphosis.