TAP: Investigation of Memory
120 in HIGH x 162 in WIDE x 618 in DEEP
(304.80 cm HIGH x 411.48 cm WIDE x 1569.72 cm DEEP)
Gift of the artist

San Francisco Art Institute, "1989 Annual Exhibition: Guadalupe Garcia, Reiko Goto, Mildred Howard, Hilda Shum," 1989 (cat. published).Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, "Celebrations: Sights and Sounds of Being" 1990 (cat. published).

This is a mixed media installation constructed with metal shoe taps, an antique three-seat shoe-shine stand, assorted pairs of shoes that are spray-painted white, and delayed playback of ambient sound. Each shoe tap is engraved with the word "Traveler."

The following is Mildred Howard's statement about the work (from the catalogue 1989 Annual Exhibition: Guadalupe Garcia, Reiko Goto, Mildred Howard, Hilda Shum, San Francisco Art Institute, 1989, n.p.) "A dream about taps-thousands of metal shoe taps-covering the floor. Shoeshine stands and white painted shoes and sounds of tap dancing. Tap: An Investigation of Memory is the first in a series of explorations of the word "tap" and all of its connotations. Inspired by dreams-moments torn from memory. Recollections of the role tap dancing played in my family when I was a child growing up in San Francisco-of social dancing and means of subsidizing income. In this exhibition visual and verbal puns expand on the many possible meanings and associations on the idea of "tap." Placed in an environment contrary to their original use or place of origin puts these "taps" in an entirely different perspective while still dealing with personal issues and historical significance. P.S. Each metal shoe tap is engraved with the world Traveler. Hear the sound, feel the movement." -Mildred HowardThe artist has also explained: "The shoe-shine stand was originally designed for the California Hotel on San Pablo in Oakland. At the time, the California Hotel was a place where many well known African American enteratainers performed." (email from artist to K. Tsujimoto, 12/15/2009) approximate dimensions of the piece installed at different sites: San Francisco Art Institute, 10' x 13.5' x 51.5'; Fisher Gallery, USC, 10' x 15' x 18' (A portion of the shoe taps for this installation were on the wall); Hammonds House, Atlanta, GA, 10' x 15' x 18'.

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