Not literally. The installation was the next doorway down the hall from Gabriele Rothweiler’s studio.
When you entered the room, you were surrounded by a silver material that billowed. It was translucent, light, pliant and rustled.
The room contained a few white leatherette chairs. A friend and I stood for a moment enjoying the material moving with the breeze and then sat down to see if it was a different experience.
Sitting in the white chairs, we listened to the sound as the fan blew against silver coloured fabric/plastic. I think the material might have been emergency surgical blankets glued together because seams were clearly visible.
From the chairs, the lamps and fan became a distraction from the experience. The mechanics of the installation took center stage instead of the effects created by the fan and the lights. Because we could see the fan and light directly in front of us, we talked about how to get rid of them so that we could just enjoy the sound of the air being pushed through the material.
Was this a commentary about society focusing on faults when surrounded by beauty?
The sound created when the air hit the material reminded me of the wind as it rustles the leaves of the trees. It also reminded me of island life where the ocean is a constant companion, filling your ears as the waves find the shore.
I decided to share the video footage which focuses on the sound and imagery and not the equipment used to make the installation.
I don’t know if seeing the equipment was a flaw or a necessary element. If this was a flaw in the execution, it can be easily rectified. A small screen made from the same silver material would solve the visual flaw when sitting down. You would still see the fan when standing but it would not be the visual focus.
When we were getting ready to leave the room, two guys popped out from behind the material and asked us what we we thought about the silver sheet material.
I was surprised at the questions. It was like asking me if I knew what goes into gesso or what goes into encaustic or screen printing solvents. I didn’t feel the questions was necessary or worth recording and remembering. For me, the feelings evoked by the experience were more but maybe too many people are disconnected from their feelings and can only focus on fact and this was the artist’s way of connecting with the audience by making them touch the installation.
Either way, I appreciated the idea and look forward to seeing the next version of this which may include the audio clips gathered on Saturday.