Ward Shelley and Douglas Paulson, Grow or Die, 2003/11. Building materials and performance, dimensions variable.

Douglas Paulson and Ward Shelley

Lincoln, Massachusetts

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park

There was a time when “art” meant sculpture and painting, and “craft” meant useful things like pottery and glassmaking. Any such distinction has grown from fuzzy to non-existent. And now Douglas Paulson and Ward Shelley are intent on erasing boundaries between art and carpentry. Their installation Grow or Die was part of the DeCordova’s “Temporary Structures: Performing Architecture in Contemporary Art” exhibition series. In their case, “performing architecture” was especially relevant. During a nine-day performance/construction/campout, they assembled a jerry-built platform extending from the entrance, up the main staircase, across a third-floor lobby, and up another flight of stairs, ending on the fourth floor. They didn’t come down from their aerie for the entire nine-day period …see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.