Student Work

  • Fine Arts (MFA)

    Kevin Quiles Bonilla

    Under the Stratum/Skin (Industrial Piling)

    A pile-up can be literal and conceptual, tangible and abstract, concrete and transmutable. The pile is a structure that transcends geographical, cultural and political barriers. The pile-up is an ephemeral, transitory structure with an unsolid ground. How can we use such structures within the ever-changing urban landscape as both a conceptual symbol and a mirror to the human condition? Formed on a particular ground, the pile is erected, and then dislocated from its original space to either form part of a bigger structure or be disposed of. Because of its transitory nature, its status remains ungrounded. This made me reflect on the current situation in my home island of Puerto Rico, as its colonial status in relation to the mainland of the United States also remains unclear. The piles of destruction in the island post-Hurricane Marma continued to perpetuate this notion. The pile is viewed negatively, in contrast to the stack. The stack is clean, systematic and standardized, while the pile is unorganized and chaotic and usually forms in corners or in places of temporary occupation. When we're not allowed to inhabit a solid ground, we're treated as though we're piles. The pile-up embodies the other; I embody the pile-up. Nevertheless, these structures resist extinction and continue to reappear, demanding a concrete ground. Many cease to exist, but many continue to form, containing the same intrinsic structure as the one who came before it and the ones that are yet to come.