Friday, December 16, 2011

BEAUTY: Sculpture--Barb Smith

Barb Smith uses simple, everyday objects--specifically keys--to create works of art of enormous import and weight.

She fashions keys into meta-objects, by welding them together to create impossibly long keys, or by looping two keys together to create an impossible circular key. The objects become useless in their original context but take on new meaning both as new objects unto themselves and echoes of the meanings they once held.

Smith has a wonderful Artist Statement on her website:
"Throughout the linear progression of moments that accumulate to become days, years, and lifetimes, objects are used, loved, lost, and discarded. The lost or discarded is an inscribed presence and an interruption. Common and often unnoticed, the loss and the lost are intensely personal and simultaneously anonymous. The lost or discarded thing is proof; proof of existence and simultaneously a marker of the body’s disintegration. These indicators of existence denote a life lived and a body experienced. Through discovering these marks and traces, I interact with a history that is both strange and familiar.

My work is an accumulation of things predestined to disappear or go unnoticed. These items are things easily recognized; they are recognized as items used and gestures made. By collecting evidence of the body’s actions, I share the space of experience without knowing the details. These fragments capture the frailty of our individual moments. Translated and transformed, the objects are powerful and impotent; full of possibilities and nothingness. Through the experience of locating and re-forming traces of existence, I sense both my presence and face my absence. Throughout the act of making, I reconsider where I exist."

Above: master view and detail views of Kwikset.
Below: three views of Security.

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