Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ad Infinitum by Gerri Sayler

My description of Ad Infinitum, the exhibit by Idaho artist Gerri Sayler has stated that it consists of hundreds of strands of sculpted hot glue. Which doesn't really do it justice. If you've perused the photo on the Boise Art Museum site, it gives you an idea of the curling, spiderwebby, intricate shapes. But it doesn't give you a great idea of the scope. This is in the wing of the Boise Art Museum that leads out to the sculpture garden. The ceiling is huge, and these strands hang from the ceiling practically to the floor in rows and columns that form sort of a synthetic hedge maze.

I didn't know from the museum's description exactly how the exhibit would be installed. I guess I was picturing it being connected to the walls -- again, like a spiderweb. But the fact that it was hanging like a veil or a waterfall from the ceiling makes it a far more interesting exhibit than I would have guessed. You can walk through sections of the strands, like you would with a hedge maze, and even though you're not touching the exhibit, it moves with you. Your motion, the breeze you create by walking -- even your breath, it seems -- causes it to react. It's this organic, interactive feel that made the exhibit fascinating.

It only takes a few minutes to absorb it, but it's a nice diversion -- it feels like you're stepping into something alive and breathing.

On a side note -- kudos to the Boise Art Museum and the artist for having a few short strands of twisted hot glue separate from the rest of the installation that museum-goers are allowed to touch. I think anyone who says they've never been tempted to touch a sculpture is probably lying. Thanks for allowing tactile people like me to get it out of our systems.

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