Suspended art fascinates me

By kate on January 4th, 2009


This week, I finally had a chance to visit Lawrimore Project, a great contemporary art gallery here in Seattle. I was contemplating Nightmoves, by Michael Simi, which is a large circle of suspended figures that plays eerie vocal music. It reminded me of a piece of art I saw in 2004, Cosmos by Boris Achour (image to follow). I realized then that a lot of the art that has struck me most over the years has been things suspended near the ground. I’m trying to figure out what’s so compelling about something next to me hanging from the ceiling.

I think it’s the implied movement; that even though the pieces often hang still, they hold the potential for movement. They are “still” like a person standing still, rather than still like an inanimate object. Most art never moves (or moves intentionally), but suspended art is subject to chance.

Suspended art also offers its weight as a subject. You can see the air underneath it, and its weight pulling down on the string(s). These are objects that, left alone, would lie on the ground, but are hovering among us instead. If they’re light, our movements make them tremble. If they’re heavy, they defy both gravity and our proximity.

I’d love to read some art criticism / analysis on this subject, but the keywords are too common for me to find anything useful. (I’m familiar with Calder’s mobiles, but I put them in a different category because they’re typically hung high above the viewer and interact with their audience differently.) If anyone can point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.

Below are a few more of my favorites (ones I’ve seen in person).
Since the appeal of suspended art is the way it interacts with you in space, these photos don’t really do them justice, but you can get the idea.

Cosmos still
(click to animate)
Boris Achour, Cosmos

Pae White, Grotto

Ralph Helmick & Stuart Schechter, Landing

Filed under: about, art
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One Response to “Suspended art fascinates me”

  1. Bret Charles Says:

    I Appaulogize for the unnessary Tech. Difficulties, My wonderfull Dell/Hell Decided to play server Havock and crash-a-bit. WoW your extreem art knowledge is facinating too say the least and yes, I would have to most assuradly agree with your fascination with the realm of both time and space annimation, which brings about the most awe inspireing Art/Creation of “ALL time and space” Our planet’s’/Solar system/Universe and most deffinatly the Galaxy’s…And how the God of the universe/Creator of you and me and EVERYthing, Just spoke it into existence! WoW now that brings the deepest realms of and await the realms of conceptive art to the forefront of ones mind. Even to comprhend and fathem the limitless possibilities of the “things” and beautiful wonders/ creations that await our VERY soon eternal future, That I AM very sure will BE A NEVERending AWE of Love and Joy beyond compair,As All things are possible. And finally as to what he Is going to do next…Yes It Is Awesome to ponder! One Final Thought&Picture of A most facinateing piece of art that came to mind…Hopefully I can find them& Send em to ya later of “The Perpetual Motion Sculpture” That mooves and rotates with the Earths Gravity and wind,For Now You will find some Attached gOOdies to lOOk at &MayBe to peak your intrests a ‘lil’bit, Sent them To: .IF Not, u will get the others sOOn…God Bless, Bret
    ; ; ;

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