Queen Sheets is a collaboration with Canadian noise artist Sam McKinlay, THE RITA. After several months of intimate correspondence with McKinlay discussing their work, Megan built Queen Sheets on the property of Crouch's Treasure Lake in Petersburg, Kentucky during the Summer of 2014. Using contact mics (designed to sense audio vibrations through solid objects without interference from air vibrations), she recorded the subtle sounds of the sculpture's installation and mailed the recordings to her partner. The Rita mixed and mastered these sounds for a double lp the duo released through URISHIMA RECORDS in March of 2015.
Both artists have had extensive experience working with sheer fabrics in their works. THE RITA has been openly exploring nylon fetishism in his creative works for years, evident in his albums The Nylons Of Laura Antonelli (2009), Eyeliner Into Nylon Back Seam (2012), Gamzatti (2014), and Ballet Feet Positions (2014) to name a few. Megan has returned to Chiffon as a building material in more than half of her sculptures.
- In a letter to Sam from Megan on March 31st, 2014
(response to The Rita's "Ballet Feet Positions")
"It was an 18 month collaboration. Queen Sheets has been a part of my life and creative thought process for a long time now. It's a little surreal to think I've laid those bricks for the last time... There are dark, telling bruises all over my body, including the center of my chest where I would support the weight of the bricks when my arms felt weak. I've never felt sweat so thick roll down my body the way it did when i was building. Sam and I had entire trust in one another. We didn't practice; we discussed the performance very little. There was no plan of how it would come together for us live. But perhaps even more than the trust we had in one another, as masters of our individual mediums, was the unspoken faith we shared in the piece itself. Queen Sheets came together in a series of fortuitous happenstances. Although we think we know our work well, it continues to share with us it's extraordinary serendipity."
"An exquisite and entirely feminine material, much can be said of nylon. It moves like us and with us, stretches like us and with us, and- although extremely delicate and easily torn- the fiber is strong enough to make me wonder if it could support bricks. Pantyhose becomes our second skin, our birthskin held in its softness. The sound of this softness is remarkable-- the sound of second skin on birthskin and the light sweat between."
"Both records are impressive, inspired and near perfect examples of Mr. McKinlay’s brutal sonic talents. This is easily one of the highlights of this year noise releases and a high point in the Rita discography. A must have item for HNW/Noise fans; but also a great entry point into the genre to see how one of the masters of the form performs."
After weeks of intimate discussion and expansive research of nylon it was decided that the collaborative result would not be centered in themes of fetishism, but would also expand utilitarian themes around the use of nylon. The final structure speaks to female force as the sheet of fabric sacrifices itself to the elements to protect the bricks beneath. This interior/exterior role reversal parallels themes of gender role reversal, especially in relation to male nylon fetishism.
The structure itself is built to the specifics of a queen sized bed, 60 x 80."
A year after Queen Sheets was originally laid and recorded, Megan Miller and McKinlay met in person for the first time. The sculptor joined The Rita on tour with Richard Ramirez, A Week of Kindness, and Serpentine to build the piece live.