Installation view, salt chamber from UNDERNEATH IS BEFORE (2016), SPACES. 8'x6'x8', 1,000 lbs salt.
Can salt mean something for us about Cleveland's sense of place today? Visitors will follow an immersive path through the formation of the salt deposit, reconstructed in the gallery, piecing together a sensory story of layering and accumulation in this region. Their experience culminates in the quieting hollows of a salt chamber reconstructed from salt slabs mined for this installation. In the salt chamber visitors will experience solitude and a physical connection with actual slabs of salt that are over 300 million years old but mined in present time underneath nearly 2000 feet of lake water, glacial clay, and Cleveland bedrock.
UNDERNEATH IS BEFORE focuses on one moment in geologic time: the moment when the massive salt deposits under Lake Erie were formed. Visitors take a journey through geologic deep time to encounter the atmospheric and sensory conditions of an ancient ocean and the subsequent events leading to the formation of Cleveland's salt. This encounter renders visible a moment in time that is typically invisible in modern life.