Personality Sculpture

By: pbcmedia

Jun 18 2008

Category: 1


Focal Length:5.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SD850 IS

“What You SEE Is What You Get” Installation by Kristen Reynolds currently at Decordova Museum

Recently, I posted a photograph along with some thoughts on Tim Russert’s death that some readers valiantly tried to identify or at least to understand, but contented themselves (or not) with the mystery of it. In other words, “Huh?”

I not only deliver this artistic experience, I also have it myself. Case in point-an exhibit at the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass. I went at the beginning of the month and am just now getting around to reading what the artist had to say about her installation. Without her words, I’d still be going, “Huh?”

This particular piece was the first I saw. I circled it (it was larger than this px shows) and circled it and circled and after going through the rest of the exhibit, went back and circled some more.

Truly, I was at a loss. I laughed out loud I was so stumped. But, it disturbed me on some level, too. I didn’t know where to begin to look. Perspective? Forget about it. I wasn’t sure the bottom of the installation wasn’t the top and the artist trying to fool us. But, then, top and bottom as concepts seemed out of place as well. The best I could do was a nod to the Fred Astaire movie where he’s dancing on the walls and the ceilings. Or, Salvatore Dali making breakfast in his studio. Clearly, conceptually, I didn’t have one. All I knew was I reacted to it emotionally or else why keep circling? But, had you asked me to explain why I reacted to it? Imagine the ultimate Blank Look. I took the brochure and said I’ll read about this later.

Later came last night. Here’s what Kristen Reynolds said about her work and this piece in particular:

When absence is disguised as excess, looking becomes a comedic performance.

Architectural structures, poised in a moment between imminent collapse and perpetual construction, suggest a strangely funny and dreadful event on the verge of becoming.

I create installations as tableaus to activate the irritating space within language, architecture and the body, which evades certain knowing.

IN “What You SEE Is What You Get”, the posed drama of the architectual “stage” exists in a state of limbo until the viewer chooses to enter, becoming both spectator and actor. Useless or interstitial spaces invite peeping, the object’s integrity is quesitonable & boundaries defining the real, the remembered and the virtual are playfully confused. The description between expectations and perception arouse new possibilites.”

Now, you are just going to have to trust me on this one, people. She just described my personality by describing her sculpture:

Excess disquised as absence? Looking becomes a comedic performance. Check. (Spud series, anyone?)

Imminent collapse, perpetual construction? Check. “Failure, The World Tour”, anyone?

Strangely funny, dreadful event on the verge of becoming? Check. (Particularly the funny and dreadful ( oh, yeah, we’ve all got our own version of the “dreadfuls”) combo as well as the becoming part)

Object’s integrity is questionable, boundaries playfully confused? Check. Oh, yeah.

Description between expectation and perception arouse new possibilities? Check, I hope. From your art to my life, Kristen. Fingers crossed. Salt over shoulder. Avoid black cats.

I heard a phrase over the weekend that caught my attention: “Art offers the possibility of love with strangers.”

As extravagantly, as only us excess disguised as absence girls can lavishly while absent say: It took me awhile–but Kristen Reynolds, I think I love you. Gulp.

©2008 Pat Coakley


7 comments on “Personality Sculpture”

  1. Your picture looked like a Japanese version of a broken Paula Dawson hologram I heard about back the late seventies.

    I met paula’s assistant at her show at the QLD art gallery and he told me about one of the giant ( they were about 4’x6′) holograms that Paula made for the “There’s No Place Like Home” exhibition had been dropped by the art gallery staff.

    I was told that each shard of the broken hologram had the whole image (a room interior) on it, and it was as though when one looked into each bit, it was like looking though a hole in reality into another reality.

  2. about my last comment, I didn’t mean to put the emoticon in. It crept in by itself…. really

  3. Isn’t it kinda cool when someone says about us what’s been on the tip of our tongue all along?

    Back in my radio days, when I struggled to make my words resonate with people and impart joy mixed with wisdom, I read The Brothers Karamazov and came across the phrase “verbal incontinence.” Nothing described better the very thing I hoped to avoid, not only on the radio but in life as well.

    Although you wouldn’t know it if you read some of my longer posts . . .

    Nice, Gramma.

  4. It just looks weird to me.

    But I’m anchored in reality and devoid of imagination.

  5. It is weird twobuyfour!! Had I not read her explanation I wouldn’t have appreciated as much and that is reality, too! I also do not think you are devoid of imagination, either. I’ve read your blog remember, as well as come across some of your comments on others’ blogs. You have left a trail, my friend!
    Gramma thinks you said it just right, tysdaddy…it’s the coolness of hearing someone say something about ourselves that has been on the tip of our tongue all along. Love that phrase, indeed.
    Razz…leave it to you to have a point of reference for this piece of sculpture! Your travels have been wide and deep indeed! I hate those emoticons whether they creep in by themselves or are inserted willfully!

  6. Pat, I think we can all identify with these types of descriptions at one time or another in our life. They are transitory. You are so much more than these mere words could convey. Vibrant, alive, joyous, loving… dimensions that she could not even begin to give you.

    We all read your blog because you amuse, delight, provolk us to thought. There is also the flat out honesty and decency and realism to your posts that makes us all relate to you.

    Maybe you should look at your life in this less abstract way…..?

  7. You know, there is one thing that has always struck like a lightening bulb within me and that is the mere fact that art brings about communication. Whether we like the same piece or disagree on its merit doesn’t matter, it gets us talking. I absolutely love the idea of this sculpture and connect with it in a way as you have done.
    There is something disarming about this one though and yet at the same time it all works together like a brilliant jigsaw puzzle, piece by piece we come together. Some pieces are old, some are new, they get added along the road that is life. Wow!

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