I had a teacher in grad school who called inert, functionless sculpture “corpse art.” He was alluding to furniture as the alternative, but I bounced off that to start making sculptures as “objects”, as tools (see Fawn Krieger speak of sculptures as subjects, part of the viewer). And when I found myself pulling out a few sculpture-as-tool references (Starling, Sailstorfer) in a recent conversation, I realized that, while those works provided inspiration as a maker, or as a reference in a prove-you-know-who’s-around-you sort of way, the one that really just makes me sit quietly and feel in a nameless but unavoidable way is a sculpture that just sits there:
Sculpture is generally seen as time-avoidant or merely three-dimensional. After all, it just sits there. But nothing could be further from the truth.
First of all, it sits there and waits for you to interact with it in all four of your dimensions. You animate a sculpture by walking around it, giving it a parcel of your time.
And second of all, a sculpture doesn’t “just sit there” any more than “empty space” is empty.
(Matthew Ronay, Of Host) Of course, as soon as I make that an icon for me, it starts to fade in impact, becoming a symbol for something I believe, no longer nameless. And anyway, I’ve replaced Starling and Sailstorfer with Export and Nakadate.