Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mary Babcock at the Textile Art Center

Teem - a collaborative installation
by Mary Babcock (faculty member and Chair of Fiber area) and Christopher Curtin
at the Textile Art Center, Brooklyn, NY (March 11 - April 19)
Opening Reception: March 11, 8-11PM

Teem, a large-scale installation, superimposes metaphors of water (movement/potentiality), and the sea (the infinite, comfort, danger, aloneness) to evoke a sense of dreamspace -- the space of possibility.

As artist Robert Irwin once noted, art is "the placing of...attention on the periphery of knowing", where logic and knowledge meld into a dream-like state. From this murky place of subjective experience, water emerges as a metaphor for the individual self caught in a colloidal suspension, drawn back together by forces of nature larger than ourselves. Teem uses textile
to create an environment where viewers find themselves under the surface of the water at the powerful juncture where river currents meet the ocean tides, where the individual meets the collective.

In a world that is increasingly reliant on "tele-presence", there are two aspects of our experience that are often overlooked: the sense of physicality, of touch and of physical-object-presence as we as its opposite, the void -- the palpable presence of absence. In this installation we bring the sense of poetry of the physical, undulating surface of the ocean indoors as w merge it with the beauty and history of the buildings' architecture. In doing so, we intend to shift viewers experience out of the compression of the everyday hyper-stimulating environment into the experience of spaciousness, into the potentiality of dreamspace, in the possibility inherent in the void.

Suspended horizontal planes of lightweight, translucent silk are blown by rhythmically timed fans as audience members are beckoned to lie beneath this "screen" of textiles that mimic the constant flux of the ocean's surface. Six shibori hand-dyed silk "rivers" rotate in negative space above the billowing white silk surface below. These "rivers" interact with the ocean as the large silk surface is gently blown up into their paths. Each is affected by the gentle caress that takes place, and the result is mixing of the diaphanous silk and the ephemeral, fleeting movements of the river above.

-From the "Teem" proposal, courtesy Mary Babcock and Christopher Curtin
Photo courtesy Mary Babcock and Christopher Curtin, from previous installation titled "Deluge"

Babcock's shibori silk pieces in the Textile Art Center's front windows has inspired a fundraiser for the recent tsunami tragedy in Japan.

No comments:

Post a Comment