Where else can you sink your teeth into frosting covered poetry, peek into hanging microcosms, observe nature work against itself, and witness sound waves transform into rippling light?
From September 5 through October 18, 2008, EFA Project Space invites you to IN RESIDENCE: Recent Projects from Sculpture Space, an exhibition celebrating the cultivation of the creative process and the crucial contribution organizations such as Sculpture Space (Utica, NY) provide to artists. Curated by Christa Erickson and Patterson Sims, this exhibition provides a sampling of work by artists who have recently participated in Sculpture Space’s residency program.
At the opening reception Maria Velasco will be performing her evolving project Isn’t It You, as she serves up edible poetry on trays. Velasco invites public interaction (through ingestion), but also neighborhood involvement, as the ornate script lettering will be cast cupcakes baked and decorated in collaboration with Hell’s Kitchen’s Cupcake Café. A permanent element of the artist’s interactive performance will remain on display throughout the show. Hanging from pulleys across the way are Carlos Ferguson’s Suspended Worlds, simply colored boxes that may be lowered and raised to eye level allowing the viewer to peer through the peepholes, revealing colossal spectacles in dioramic proportions. Pushing scale in the opposite direction is Wennie Huang’s Red Sprawl, a bold, red, twenty-four foot wide wall-bound tree created by twisting together what the artist describes as “5,000 chenille stems”, a nostalgic material at a closer look. Memory serves as inspiration in Takafumi Ide’s Reverberate, an ethereal work where inaudible sound waves are filtered through lit drops of water into halos of light undulating across the wall. Nearby is David Bowen’s 4phototropic devices, a light sensitive device consisting of 4 four leaves attached to photo-resistors and motors, constantly reconfigure themselves as they attempt to expose themselves to light. This play on nature and mortality juxtaposed with artificial technology also occurs in David McQueen’s Quaking Aspen/Nervous Empire, described by the artist as a “colony of 80 …Aspen trees stemming from a shared root system and drawing power from a single elaborate power source… which sends pulses of electricity through the roots,” causing the trees to quiver and tremble.
What unifies the exhibition is the very singular vision of each artist that, when given the opportunity of space, time and resources, results in something uniquely articulated, as if it has materialized from a parallel dimension: from Jae-Hi Ahn’s, glistening gem-like hanging vines; to Hairpiece, a dizzying installation of wound synthetic hair by Las Hermanas Iglesias; to Beth Krebs’ magically spare illusionary room; to Abe Ferraro’s Climbing Machine video documentation of an elaborate construct which generates drawings as the artist climbs; to Jina Valentine’s meticulous and destructive transformation of herbal remedy boxes; and finally, to Sterz’s strange, unearthly floating object mirrored in an acrylic puddle on the floor.
By partnering with Sculpture Space on this exhibition, EFA Project Space begins to fulfill its goal to provide a unique space for collaboration with other art and cultural organizations, thus expanding audiences for the arts while bridging gaps in the art community.
Sculpture Space is a nonprofit artists’ workspace dedicated to the needs of artists whose focus is sculpture. It is unique in North America for its service to sculptors and the individual support given to artists who come to Utica, NY to make new work. The program currently selects 20 artists per year for two-month residencies and has helped advance the careers of over 400 national/international artists since 1976.
“Residencies at Sculpture Space are a rare luxury for artists to focus exclusively on their work with support. The shop environment that originally characterized Sculpture Space’s origin has expanded, allowing for the pursuit of the broad array of practices associated with sculpture today. The expansion of practices also incorporates the notion of site - in this case the post-industrial small-scale urban landscape of Utica, NY. This featured selection of works further characterizes ’sculpture’ as a sensitivity to and facility with a diversity of materials - craft and food items to electronics and light to those more traditionally employed. Selected artists demonstrate great ingenuity in finding, fabricating, and transforming materials into imaginative works, many of which reflect on timely issues..” – Christa Erickson, Co-Curator and Sculpture Space Artist-in-Residence, 2007