Footloose and … the ties that bind (1977) was installed at the Heath Gallery in Atlanta and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia, also in Atlanta (2002). The installation required a small room (approximately 12 by 12 feet). The lighting was subdued with one spotlight illuminating a small platform suspended about 18 inches above and slightly in front of the ladder’s top. Another spotlight illuminated a leg of the ladder that had been shortened and was resting on a copy of Gateley’s Universal Educator (1883). A family photo album placed on the platform above the ladder contained images from the artist’s life inscribed with improbable statements that called into question life’s assumptions.
The bottom of the suspended platform was clear, enabling viewers to see the cover of the photo album, but they had to ascend the impaired ladder to see its contents. About every 45 seconds, a hidden audio system played a loop of a person climbing an aluminum ladder, losing balance, and falling to the floor with a “thud.” The intrepid viewer who climbed was informed, on the final page of the album, that “Uncle Hue” died after falling from a six-foot ladder, while changing a light bulb.