Gateway to Infinity (An Anti-monument), 2023
Stretching 40 feet in diameter, Gateway to Infinity (An Anti-monument) is a large-scale groundwork by Boston-based queer, interdisciplinary artist Maria Molteni. Gateway to Infinity explores site-specific histories and collective rebirth through a design created during 10 months of extensive research by the artist. As with many of Molteni’s vibrant, massive groundworks, Gateway to Infinity features abstract symbols anchored in the land, sea, body, and celestial beings. Centered around a vibrant triple spiral motif –a three-limbed symbol known as a “triskeles/triskelion”– the groundwork may be viewed from an infinite range of angles and orientations, instead of a single, definitive perspective or starting point.
Images from artist Maria Molteni’s project research files, 2023.
Located between Christopher Columbus Park and Faneuil Hall, the mural invites audiences to reflect upon and contend with these sites’ legacies, consider non-dominant narratives of place and public memory, and find personal connections with their own histories. By centering moving, living bodies upon a communal platform, rather than atop towering pedestals, Gateway to Infinity creates a colorful, multifaceted labyrinth and space for processing, releasing, and healing.
The mural is accompanied by a walking meditation and collaborative video performance and publication Molteni created with non-binary Italian American collaborators Vin Caponigro, Laura Campagna, and Ash Capachione. The performance and publication are accessible via smartphone.
Triskele & The Monster’s Tools:
A Solstice Invocation of Medusa Consciousness
Public Ritual on The Greenway on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 7pm
Representing expansive, non-dual consciousness, four figures called upon the sun, ocean, and three celestial bodies –the Moon, Venus, and Mars– to aid in a regenerative alchemical process. Walking the spiraling labyrinth, the performers made a cyclical journey to restore connections of the mind and heart, land and sea, past and future.
Drawing upon writer Audre Lorde’s framework of the “Master’s Tools” as well as the “Monster’s Tools” offered by thinker Ece Canli, Molteni and their collaborators alchemized the energy of the summer solstice to transform family heirlooms and forge new tools and paths for the future.
Visitors were invited to participate via printed paper talismans, a collective movement ritual, and personal family heirlooms (physical or conceptualized).
The performance lives on via a collaborative publication, a video, and guided meditation. All materials are accessible by smartphone, so that visitors to the multilayered labyrinth may find space for processing, release, and regeneration throughout the work’s presence on The Greenway.
Maria Molteni (they/them, b. 1983 Nashville, TN) is a queer interdisciplinary artist, mystic, organizer and educator based in Boston since 2002. Formally trained in painting, printmaking and dance, their practice has expanded to incorporate research, social magic, ritual performance, and play-based collaboration. Molteni works in a variety of media–from inflatable textile to found-object sculpture, painting to publication, movement to video. They choose media per its ability to intersect conceptual rigor, formal poignancy and spiritual depth. Most known for their monumental, site-specific hand painted groundworks (often basketball courts), which they call altars to the sky, shape-shifting labyrinths and horizontal monuments, Molteni and their work make a bold contribution to national movements of embodied, accessible public art.
Molteni’s membership of the Boston Rowing Center ties into their work about Sirens, sea monsters and ocean/island lore, significantly anchoring 20 years of practice in Massachusetts. They have also participated in grassroots Boston initiatives including New Craft Artists in Action (Founder + Team Captain), Occupy Boston, Boston LGBTQIA Artist Alliance, Design Studio for Social Intervention, Common Field, Danza Organica ensemble, Midway Artist Studios.
Molteni has exhibited at numerous galleries and museums as well as basements, meadows, sidewalks and seascapes across the globe. More formal institutions include The Momentary Contemporary Art Museum (Bentonville, AK), MFA & ICA Boston (MA), Project Rowhouses (Houston, TX), Den Frei Contemporary Art Center (Copenhagen, Denmark), Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (MA), NGBK (Berlin), Fruitlands Museum (Harvard, MA), Museum of Design (Atlanta, GA), Conduit Gallery (Dallas, TX), Flower Head (LA, CA), Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA), Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg, MA), Space Gallery (Portland, ME), BAK (Utrecht, Netherlands), A Plus A (Venice, IT), SLOMA (CA). They have completed residencies at Canterbury Shaker Village (New Hampshire), Heima (Iceland), Haystack (Maine), Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC), Queer Sport Split (Croatia), Platteforum (Denver, CO), Facebook HQ, to name a few. In 2016 their NCAA artist collective (New Craft Artists in Action) was invited to present their work on Capitol Hill to the Congressional Makers and STEAM Caucuses.
Ash Capachione (they/them) aka HELIXHAND is a motion designer, filmmaker and audio visual artist. They began recording found sounds, noise and experimental electronic music in their hometown of Boston, MA after finding sonic influence in New England’s sacred and haunted spaces. Capachione explores themes of queer identity and vulnerability, and revisions spiritual connectivity, ritual and folklore via an audiovisual practice. They perform and improvise live with computer-based and hardware electronics, machine generated video and composite, animation and live action video. Capachione’s works in motion design, sound and video have been performed and exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Museum of Science and Technology (Boston), Anthony Greaney Contemporary Art Gallery (Boston), Museum of Museums (Seattle), SEASON Gallery (Seattle), San Diego Art Institute (San Diego), A Ship In the Woods (San Diego), SXSW, Decibel Fest, and Discwoman Fest.
Vin Caponigro (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist who blends accessible and egalitarian concepts with ritual and performance to explore ideas of restriction and reproduction through writing, performance, and the creation of multiples. Caponigro’s research includes how those in power have used storytelling and reproducible media to control history, and how marginalized communities have used independent publishing to tell their own stories and fight back against oppressive systems.
Before its dissolution in 2017, Caponigro was a founding member of the non-anonymous W.I.T.C.H. Chicago. Caponigro frequently facilitates workshops and speaks on panels, recently at Harvard University, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Emerson College, the University of Kentucky, Oberlin College, and NYU Florence. They have facilitated numerous participatory performances, recently at Spaceus: Harvard Square, the Cincinnati Art Book Fair, the Future in Minneapolis, and in Boston Common. Caponigro has attended residencies in Estonia, Sicily, and the United States, including Zygote Press, ACRE, the Wassaic Project, and the Women’s Studio Workshop. In addition to solo exhibitions in Chicago and Baltimore, Caponigro’s work has been included in two-person and group exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Beverly Art Center, the Highland Park Art Center, the Chicago Artist Coalition, and the Nemeth Art Center.
Caponigro currently lives and works on occupied Massachusett and Wampanoag land, where they operate Snake Hair, an independent publisher of zines and ritual multiples.
Laura Campagna is a healer, artist, and educator who has been reading tarot and studying astrology since she was 13 years old. Her readings are intuitively crafted for each individual and informed by feminist interpretations of ancient mythology.
Born and raised in Boston, MA. Laura is a Reiki Master and is trained in a number of powerful energetic healing modalities including VortexHealing® Divine Magic Energy in the Merlin Lineage. She is a Steering Committee member of the Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN), and co-chair of the Education Committee. Laura is the co-creator of Pagan Baby: A Kids Guide to the Cosmos with artist Catherine Please.
Laura holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College where she taught in the First Year Writing Program. She received her BA in Gender Studies from Antioch College where she studied the effects of the witch burnings on the modern day pagan community in Europe. She worked in social justice advocacy for many years, and taught Cultural Studies at Prescott College in Arizona, before devoting herself full time to healing and magic. Laura has presented on intersectional feminism, astrology, and witchcraft at Arizona State University, Mt. Holyoke College, Northeastern University, and University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.
Laura Ganci is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician born in Hartford, Connecticut. Her visual and installation works address personal history, and the human relationship to sound. Her investigation began as an attempt to generate a sound portrait of her father, after watching several family movies he had converted from VHS to DVD. Having replayed these recordings, she started to notice how particular sounds and phrases conjured the feeling of her father’s presence more strongly than an explanation of what he was doing during the actual recordings. Compelled to recreate those scenes in a more subjective way, she started making gestural drawings of her subjects engaging in favorite activities as she listened to the tapes. Without consciously understanding what she was doing, she had embarked on the process of animation. She now creates layered and immersive narrative sound installations centering on the theme of story-telling and memory, as well as the intersubjectivity of human relationships.
Laura has shown her work at MAC 360 Gallery in Middletown, CT, as well as at Monster Lab Recording Studio and the S.T Chen Fine Arts Center in New Britain, CT.She showed work as part of a group show at the Doran Gallery at Massachusetts College of Art. She also does commissioned pieces ranging from large scale murals with youth organizations to more traditional portrait work. Laura is also a leading member of Boston-based band American Echoes. They have independently released an original album of songs, and toured fifteen US states.
Laura received her BFA from the Central Connecticut State University and the Hartford Art School (University of Hartford). She received an MFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.