Bennett Wine (A '12)

Fountain of Bliss

3:30, 4:15, 5:00 

This project is based on Samuel Beckett’s two act comic/tragic play from 1961 about two people, Winnie and Willie who are inexplicably trapped in a mound of dirt. Winnie, who has almost all of the dialogue, prattles on and on with seemingly never ending optimism about life. Willie is barely audible and in the original is not really seen until the final 5 minutes of the play. 

In this version the mound has transformed into a ‘fountain’ of sorts with the two characters dangling over two pools of sharks. There is a rope that unites them and keeps them from sliding into the shark pools but is starting to fray and it looks as if it might give at any minute. The play has been dramatically shortened, with some added dialogue providing childhood anecdotes for Winnie. Behind Winnie’s cheeriness are fears of loneliness, the consciousness of her self-delusions, and death. 

Bennett Wine lives and works in the mountains of upstate New York. His practice centers around sculp- ture, but he also makes works on paper and some videos. Much of his work can be seen in outdoor public exhibitions throughout the eastern United States. In his public work he has been interested in showing people of different backgrounds pitted against difficult existential circumstances. In his interior work he’s interested in understanding perception and memory. He currently has an exhibition he curated; the Kingston Sculpture Biennial in Kingston NY which is on exhibition through Oct. 31. Wine was a participant at Skowhegan in 2012 and has included a number of his fellow participants from that year in the Biennial.