Metal Sculpture Memory

Wednesday, 4 December 2002

about a year ago i was fin­ish­ing up my last project for my met­al sculp­ture class. my pro­gres­sion in the world of art that se­mes­ter was a strug­gle. i was al­so tak­ing an an­thro class about cul­tur­al iden­ti­ties of art. my life was cir­cum­scribed by form v. con­tent. in the class on form (met­al sculp­ture) the teacher had some is­sues with my ideas of con­tent. i didn’t go for aes­thet­ic plea­sure. i want­ed to make peo­ple feel un­com­fort­able. i didn’t do this by mak­ing a ‘Piss Christ’ or any­thing of the sort. One project was a ma­que­t­te of a mon­u­ment. mine was rather typ­i­cal, a long ver­ti­cal column that had five feet ex­tend­ing from the bot­tom in a cir­cle. it looked sta­ble and ba­nal. that wasn’t the point. but that was the way the class liked it. i, on the oth­er hand, liked it bet­ter my way. flipped over. the five pro­tru­sions reach­ing up to the sky and every­thing pre­car­i­ous­ly bal­anced on the column. (it was ac­tu­al­ly more sta­ble that way any­way). it was slight­ly un­com­fort­able to look at any­way.

an­oth­er project’s the­me was ‘trans­port.’ i had to make some­thing that would trans­port peo­ple. i thought about mak­ing a cat­a­pult but that was too com­pli­cat­ed. hell this class was on­ly an elec­tive. I de­cid­ed to make a chair. kin­da the op­po­site of trans­port, eh? it was all made fround ground steel and the chair back ex­tend­ed up and had two lit­tle disc things com­ing out at the head which when some­one sat in the chair looked like big steel ear­muffs. still not get­ting the trans­port idea? well this chair trans­port­ed through the idea of pain. i cov­ered the chair with nails. es­pe­cial­ly the ‘earmuffs/​headphones.’ when peo­ple looked at my chair, think­ing about sit­ting in it was sup­posed to trans­port them to a world about think­ing about sit­ting in a chair. the class didn’t get it. but ap­par­ent­ly oth­er peo­ple did. the pro­fes­sor told me that he kept catch­ing peo­ple try­ing to sit in it.

out of all the trans­port projects, an arc made from cubes, a gun with a twist­ed bar­rel, a cat­a­pult, oth­ers, mine was the on­ly one that peo­ple ac­tu­al­ly used to trans­port them­selves.

if it sounds like i’m brag­ging per­haps it’s be­cause i am, a lit­tle.