Everywhere and Nowhere at Laconia Gallery

Everywhere and Nowhere
A site-specific installation by Robin Mandel
Laconia Gallery
433 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA
December 16 – January 29, 2012
Artist Gallery Talk + First Friday Reception, January 6, 2012, 5:30 – 8 PM

Everywhere and Nowhere at Laconia Gallery, 2011

The seed of this work at Laconia Gallery work is how the mirror triples itself, becoming object, shadow, and reflection, and how these three converge at the border between light and dark.  There is something about the activity at that point – dynamic and yet self-cancelling – that fits together with the rest of my current work.  I’ve been interested in motion and stillness, how things can move to become still.  I have been setting up systems where forces are active but balanced, each one acting against another, and exploring the connotations that can arise from that; harmony and concordance, but also deadlock and impasse.

The work is also a reaction to my somewhat nomadic studio practice of the past few years, during which I have felt the burden of possessing the things I make.  I began to want to make sculpture out of nothing, or almost nothing, and the idea of manipulating light as a sculptural material seemed a way to approach this paradoxical desire.  Part of the beauty of these arrow installation pieces for me is that I can fill a large room with a very dynamic visual experience, but when the show is over it breaks down into a box of lights and a box of arrows.  It almost disappears.  And as you view it in the room, and walk between the wall and the light sources, your shadow is cast across the piece and you make it disappear for a brief moment.  I like that ephemerality; it’s there and then it’s not.

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