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Sculpture: This Could Be The Whole Ball Game

April 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This Could Be The Hole Ball Game
This Could Be The Hole Ball Game
baseball with pencil, suspended by fishing line
2008

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A Little League baseball pierced with a red pencil and hung from Jeffersonian-revival architecture offers a menacing look at the heavy-handed nostalgia of Americanism: as the title implies, this sculpture could be a jury-rigged version of the colonial hole-ball game where children idly attempted to catch a small wooden ball on a stick (a game mainly preserved in nostalgic toys sold in places such as downtown Fredericksburg and Colonial Williamsburg), but even so, this game has been repurposed: it is in midair, suggesting flight, while the pencil becomes an arrow which dually suggests direction and harm. The additional duality of the title refers to the weighty phrase uttered by play-by-play announcers at particularly important moments in a baseball game, one where the outcome can be essentially decided in what would otherwise be an ordinary event. Taken together, these elements inform a larger theme: a deadpan satire on the direness of American nostalgia,  collecting (European-influenced) American iconography that is heavily dependant on reverie for the past and placing it squarely on the shoulder of generations that have not experienced that past.

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For the record, I almost critically injured one of my esteemed professors while setting this up.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · original work · sculpture

Sculpture: Support Group I (My Arcadian Woods)

April 25th, 2008 · Comments Off on Sculpture: Support Group I (My Arcadian Woods)

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Support Group I (My Arcadian Woods)
site specific installation, Melchers Hall (9 wooden studs leaned against arcade columns)
2008

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Like “Storm Tossed Ship,” the title of this work alludes to an art historical standard: in this case, the Arcadian landscape. The tradition of Arcadian landscape incorporates the idea of nature as a pastoral extension of man’s dominance of the earth; this work casts such support relationships into doubt: is the wood holding up the architecture or is the architecture holding up the wood? By extension, the classical-revival architecture plays the role of the Arcadian society, while the wooden planks take on the role of the natural world, greatly undermined by their subjugation to human purposes. Finally, the exposed wood suggests the whole structure is decaying or sinking into this dangerous earth, a feeling of uneasiness reinforced by the precipitous location of the viewer inside of the architecture.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · Melchers · original work · sculpture