Caroline Woolard: Capitoline Wolves

Capitoline Wolves by Caroline Woolard
Capitoline Wolves is an installation made for conversations about fantasies of Founding Brothers. William Staffeld / AAP
Detail from Caroline Woolard's Capitoline Wolves
Detail of Capitoline Wolves shows the stoneware udders and hanging mirrors affixed to the tables. William Staffeld / AAP
Capitoline Wolves is an installation made for conversations about fantasies of Founding Brothers. William Staffeld / AAP Detail of Capitoline Wolves shows the stoneware udders and hanging mirrors affixed to the tables. William Staffeld / AAP

Caroline Woolard's Capitoline Wolves is an installation made for conversations about fantasies of Founding Brothers. Five tables have been placed in a pentagonal formation under the grand dome of Sibley Hall. Each table resembles the she-wolf that raised Romulus and Remus; the cherry-wood table has bent hind legs of steel, distended udders of stoneware, and a hanging mirror for a face. The she-wolves' breasts have been filled with water from Ithaca's gorges. Throughout the installation, a delicate bowl with a single hole is placed in a breast, sinking to the bottom to mark the duration of conversations.

Surrounding the tables are several stools which can be stacked together to form a life-size Roman column. The column can also be tipped on its side and used as a bench. This sculptural furniture, called DIY Ruin, takes its shape from smugglers who took ancient columns away in sections. This project draws on the North American adoption of classical motifs in the organization of social life and of social space on campus. The columns mimic the Ionic columns used in buildings of education, justice, and government in the United States, particularly the columns of the White House. The she-wolf tables and column sections form an installation that welcomes dialogue about power.

This exhibition is part of the 2016 Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) Biennial: Abject/Object Empathies.