Oscar Wilde, the irrepressibly witty writer and dandy, possessed equal appetites for decadence and beauty—virtues that have come to define the artist and the art world at large. As an aesthete, Wilde dedicated himself to bottling his encounters with fleeting beauty in his writings; as an alcoholic, the bottle helped him to reorient the less forgiving facts of existence as sensation. Such a cocktail leaves quite a hangover.

All the ecstasy, absurdity, and ensuing nausea in the life of a modern artist is also present in Oscar’s Delirium Tremens: a forced-air-inflated, viewer-interactive jumproom. Although built at the monumental scale usually reserved for historical statues and public art, the hotpink, elephant-shaped structure lies toppled, flaccid, and prostrate the morning after. The piece disrupts our balance, implicating everyone in the woozy sense that the world continues spinning out of control, even after we step off the ride.

This project was developed with the support of an Individual Project Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.