In Progress > R/D - Multi-media Collaboration between Sandra Binion and Lou Mallozzi

R/D is a collaboration between artists Sandra Binion and Lou Mallozzi. The project will take the form of an installation including video, sound, drawing, photography, and sculpture. It is based on the short story Rappaccini’s Daughter (1844) by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, which we are using as a catalyst to develop this intermedia installation.

We are researching and gathering images, materials, and ideas from Hawthorne’s home and from Padua, Italy, where the author situates the story of Dr. Rappaccini, who conducts research in a closed garden of poisonous plants assisted by his adolescent daughter Beatrice. We are extracting specific images from the story, sometimes re‐enacting or re‐staging them. We are interested in detail and gesture, such as Beatrice’s embrace of the “sister plant” in Rappaccini’s garden. We are also responding to the materiality of related objects and sites: manuscripts and journals by Hawthorne and his wife Sophia Peabody; the stone walls, wallpaper, floors, and furnishings of their Concord home; the plants and architectural materials of the Orto Botanico in Padua; the wood and stone surfaces of Padua’s Teatro Anatomico. These are all instances where the sense of touch is important—handling the old paper of the manuscripts, feeling the textures of wood grain, iron, and stone.