Constructing Deconstruction - Music Box art installation

2 min read

My father was a home builder. 

So was my uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. My brothers and cousins carry on the tradition today. 

Creating a house is more than a structure...a home gives us a sense of security and safety, comfort and joy. 

A home is also a metaphor for our ability to be grounded and at 'home' within our bodies and minds. 


This is an image of a transparent construction of a house with 200 music boxes suspended from cables.

After remodeling my own house, I was struck with the many layers of feelings and emotions tied up in a home.

These feelings inspired Constructing Deconstruction, an installation composed of 200 music box sculptures.

 This is an image of another view of the Music Box House with the music boxes suspended by cables.

To experience the piece, people enter the house and choose any of the bricks resting on steel and magnet plates, suspended from cables between 2x4’s.

The steel and bronze bricks are music boxes, each telling the story of experiences that makes a house a home, instead of just a building.

This is an image of a portion of the music box house with a closer look at the individual music boxes.

The house installation has 4 windows. While the music boxes face inward for most of the house, they face outward within the windows.

When we are truly at home (physically or metaphorically), our experiences feel internal and authentic.

Once we step outside of our house (or lose our grounding and step out of our bodies) external forces have more control.

This is an image of the Music Box House with a close-up look of the windows of the house made up of four music boxes.

Each music box is made of a fabricated steel cube with a bronze, bird themed key.

Turn the key, and when you open the box, music plays and the interior details tell more of the story.


As I said, each box tells a story. But every story can be perceived in multiple ways, often in opposites. So for each bronze bird, there are 2 box designs.


These are images of the individual music boxes with the bird key on top of the box and fish bones sculpted inside the box.

Title: Reject Song: “What the World Needs Now”

Title: Accept. Song: “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”

Title: Accept. Song: “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”

Take this example of Accept and Reject…

These boxes consider our innate need for self acceptance - the parts of ourselves we struggle to accept but often make us most unique and interesting.

Accept and Reject reflect on how confidence often comes easiest when we reject the influence of outsiders and trust our inner voice.

You can see all20 music box designs here.

art installation_home_Sculpture_CG_Grisez.jpg

Constructing Deconstruction pays homage to the little stories that make us a bigger force out in the world.

Together, all the small moments and experiences combine to make us who we are and provide shelter from the unknowns.

Catherine Grisez

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