Armory Center for the Arts presents a temporary, site-specific installation by Los Angeles-based artist Nate Page in its central stairwell through June 2013.
Page’s newest work, entitled Instituted Angles of Path and Display, challenges the ultra-functional design of the Armory’s main stairwell. Page has removed one of the stairwell’s two large metal handrails, turned it 90 degrees, and mounted it in the middle of the space on a pedestal-like structure that follows the crooked trajectory of the stairs and the landing. This simple gesture both highlights and alters the existing framework and prescriptive design of the space, which remains fully functional although visually distorted. Central to Page’s practice is an interest in engaging elements of perceived and given space in built environments, often through objects dismissed as peripheral or incidental.
Page acknowledges that railings generally can serve two functions: one for handrail support, and the other as a boundary. By turning a railing on its side and using it to bisect the Armory stairwell, Page shifts our point of view what a handrail is for. Page has created a topography of the climber's passage and an opportunity for visitors to become aware of their physical and psychological relationships to the architecture by negotiating passage (stair) vs. path (boundary railing). Familiar visual and spatial rhythms are interrupted, inviting the viewer to reconsider the function of the space – and possibly, the artist hopes, to find more potential than what it is programmed for.
Nate Page lives in Los Angeles. His work has been seen at Lothringer Dreizehn Space for Contemporary Art in Munich, Hotel Pupik in Schrattenberg Austria, Warsaw Academy of the Arts, Warsaw, John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts in Sheboygan, WI, No Name Exhibitions @ The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, and at Cooper Union and Jen Bekman Gallery, both in New York. Page has produced many environments with Machine Project in Los Angeles including A Field Guide to LACMA at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has shown nationally including Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery, Institute of Visual Arts at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. From 2001-2004, Page co-directed an experimental artist collaborative and exhibition space in Milwaukee called the Rust Spot. He received a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and attended the Warsaw Academy of Art in Warsaw, Hotel Pupik in Schrattenberg Austria, and the New York Studio Program and the Summer Residency at The Cooper Union, both in New York City.