My installation “Soledad” created in response to a poem by Miriam Sagan Opens May 26th at 516 Arts Albuquerque NM

May 9, 2012

Soledad is one of 2 installations based on poems by Miriam Sagan in the exhibit “Time Pieces: Wendover Landing”. The exhibit remains up through August 11, 2012. Soledad is made of  ripstop nylon, wood dowels, ribbon and steel.

The images presented below  include studio shots taken  during fabrication and a photoshop image of the installation as it will look in the gallery. I will install the work in the week between May 21st and may 26th.

I plan to attend the opening so say hello if you happen to be there.

Time Pieces_invite_web

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Miriam Sagan’s poem:

Soledad

reading in bed

in the little trailer

at the edge of town

a crescent moon

hangs

over millions of acres

of darkness

desert sunrise–

Venus, burnished…

and everything

I don’t understand

and all of

desire

rolls towards me

like the waves

of a primeval sea.

 

My artist’s statement:

I created the installation “Soledad” in direct response to the poem by Miriam Sagan. I read Sagan’s poem looking for imagery, dualities, and contrasts in the text that could guide my search for a visual approach to the installation. I noticed the expanding scale in the poem – text, bed, trailer, town, millions of acres, Venus, all of desire- and I expressed this idea with the chevron form of the wall pieces and their enlarging size as they are distributed across the wall. I noticed the transition in Sagan’s imagery from darkness towards light and from the earthly realm of human enclosure and habitation towards allusions to the celestial and distant time. The presence of a text -implied by the phrase “reading in bed”- occupies in the poem the grounded real of human settlement as the reader is nested within the bed, trailer, and town. I have therefore incised the text of the poem on dark steel bars – a material that has weight and that is associated with buildings. The white fabric wall forms suggest the celestial realm, the coming of day and the imagined waves of the “primordial sea”. These stretched fabric forms blend into the white of the gallery wall, a wall that can be understood as a metaphor for the infinite space and potential of the creative imagination, which includes for me “everything I don’t understand” and  “all of desire”. The fabrics forms are pulled taught and are anchored to the floor by ribbons that connect them to the steel bars. As there is a functional and formal connection between the grounded steel text elements and the floating light forms of the fabric, so too I imagine delicate threads connecting the reader to their thoughts of celestial bodies, the coming of day, primordial times, their emotions and their imagination.

I approached the fabrication of the installation by using materials and methods that were new to me. This installation is made of rip-stop nylon, birch dowels, grommets, ribbon and steel. The chevron forms are very lightweight tensile structures influenced by tent and kite construction. The constraints presented by “Soledad” – the distance of Albuquerque from my studio in Vermont, the limited shipping budget, limited time on site to install and the limited loads that the gallery ceiling could support- pushed me to make an installation that is lightweight, collapses for shipping and can be deployed relatively quickly. Because of my experience in architecture, I think about how fabrication and construction influence form and how the constraints of a project – site, budget, shipping, logistics, time, available labor – can serve to inspire and stir up a creative process rather than undermine it.

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