Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spurred by a recent today's archidose, I ventured to the Lower East Side (before Jan Gehl's great lecture) to check out SOFTlab's installation at bridgegallery.

The gallery is located next door to the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street. The colorful vortex is a jarring juxtaposition with the old-law tenements and other old buildings on the street.

Like one of Anish Kapoor's inaccessible voids, the red-to-green funnel draws one's gaze into the gallery space. Access inside is via a plain-Jane door next to the storefront window, not through the tunnel of color.

Inside the installation is the inverse of the space it creates. The small pieces of colored paper are clipped together with good old generic binder clips. Names of donors are printed on some of the pieces.

The individual pieces of paper are assembled like a cut-out model: Cut here, fold here, clip here, repeat. The folds are perforated, allowing light from the gallery to enter, highlighting the seams that run vertically and horizontally.

The cavernous, tube-like, amorphous spaces reach from the storefront to the deep reaches of the gallery, branching out towards a side wall and towards the front door. Visitors gaze in to see the views like those collected here, drawing a myriad of associations that may or may not be intentional.