Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tobias Putrih’s Re-projection: Hoosac

When I wrote up my trip to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, I focused on its centerpiece, the Sol LeWitt retrospective. The museum also has other exhibits by other artists.

My favorite was Re-projection: Hoosac by Tobias Putrih. Here is a description from a Boston Globe article:

One installation, by Tobias Putrih, stretches long strands of fishing line across a dark and cavernous gallery. Bunched neatly together, the parallel lines start high on one wall, ending low on the opposite one. A single light source illuminates the strands at about the midway point, causing an optical effect reminiscent of spinning rotor blades or a mystical halo.

You can follow the path of the stretched filaments, which slowly descend below head height to waist level, in a tunnel-like space the dimensions of which become harder to perceive as you move away from the light.

When we were there, the gymnasium-sized room had a buzz of wonder, as people moved within and around the installation, and watched other people do the same. Here is a minute’s worth of video, shot by someone moving through the installation.

For further background, here is what the exhibit notes say:

Influenced by the utopian projects — and notable failures — of innovative artists and designers such as Buckminster Fuller, Frederick Kiesler, and Charles Eames, Tobias Putrih likens his works to experiments, or design prototypes. His use of cheap materials, including egg crates, cardboard, and plywood signify both a sense of potential and impending collapse. Many of the artist’s works reference the architecture and spectacle of the cinema: a space suspended between fantasy and reality, image and environment. With Re-projection: Hoosac Putrih distills the cinema to its most basic element: fishing line stretched across the gallery mimics the conical trajectory of a beam of light. A spotlight hits the strands of monofilament which in turn become a screen, reflecting an image in illuminated dots. Inspired by the Hoosac Tunnel just east of North Adams — a storied, engineering marvel that draws ghost-hunters to the area — Putrih’s tunnel is, likewise, both real and a representation, an optical trick that invites both wonder and investigation.

No comments:

Post a Comment