Author: Melanie Teresa Bohrer

Crossing Grounds: Between Private and Public Space

On a calm residential street in Springfield, Illinois, stands a modest, white bungalow. Visible from the sidewalk, two wooden boards, nailed to each of the home’s two front porch pillars with “D-E-M-O” in vertical black print, hint at what’s inside. DEMO Project, a home converted into a gallery, is scheduled for demolition in 2018. The gallery showcases contemporary artists in a novel setting that exists at the intersection of an intimate domestic space and a white-wall gallery. Early this February, I traveled to Springfield for DEMO’s exhibitions of Emily Ward Bivens and Frances Lightbound, a show featuring two artists who reexamine our relationships with public and private space. Entering through the front door, visitors encounter the work of Emily Ward Bivens. Contextual Discrepancy is located in the larger exhibition space of DEMO Project – an open, white room containing details that remind us of the space’s previous life as a home. Bivens’ work is arranged around and within the preexisting structures. On the right side of the room, a set of three feather hats inhabit …