Installed at the CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art in Middelfart, Denmark, Behin Ha's Together Apart Middelfart was commissioned for the 2020 Trekanfest in the Triangle Region of Denmark. Along with its companion project, Together Apart Billund, the project is a sequel to Behin Ha's 2019 installation, Coshocton Ray Trace, in Coshocton, Ohio.
The project was installed in late August for Trekanfest festival, during which it was the site of various performances and gatherings. It remains in place until November 1.
Together Apart, Middelfart consists of 396 coated mesh fabric ribbons stretched between the roofline of the CLAY museum and the ground. Connected to the ground along an undulating line that curves in on itself, the ribbons create a series of cellular spaces. While the surface generated by the ribbons separates the individual spaces, its porosity provides visual interconnectivity between them. The asymmetry between the roofline condition and the ground anchors creates varied spatial qualities underneath the ribbon canopy, and the curved ground anchor pattern gives rise to differentiated and complex conditions of visual overlap, density, and transparency. The bright orange color of the installation creates a focal point and invites curious passers-by to interact with the work.
The installation was constructed by a team of volunteers organized by the client and led by professional builders. The assembly procedure was designed to be straightforward so that volunteers from the community could take part in installing the work. After the construction of anchoring positions at the roofline and the ground, the coated mesh ribbons were tensioned between pre-designated anchor points at the top and bottom and stapled in place. A twist induced in the ribbons by a difference in the anchor orientations at the top and bottom makes the installation more transparent at eye level, and more opaque on top.
The project's design was influenced by Behin Ha's reflections on the nature of social gathering during the 2020 pandemic. Pondering the conflict between the human desire to come together on the one hand, and the epidemiological need to maintain separation on the other, the installation attempts to capture the tension between gathering together and remaining apart by creating multiple interconnected but individuated and isolated spaces.