Reclaimed

Whatever happened to Earth Day? (It's Sunday, April 22—remember?) Established in 1970, in large part owing to Seattle's Denis Hayes, the eco-awareness festival has somewhat faded in public awareness—along with roadside litter and leaded gas. Today, recycling is routine, and the group show Reclaimed finds 10 local artists availing themselves of some unlikely cast-offs. Bottle caps, candy wrappers, aluminum cans, scrap wood, plastic hangers, and kitchen spatulas—the trick to such cheap materials is to elevate and transform, to leave behind the mere message of repurposing. Adding to his Disposable Heroes series, Evan Blackwell latest bust is called, appropriately, Fork Head. You know those flimsy white utensils you get with take-out food, the kind that grow soft just from the steam from your won-ton soup? He's taken a few hundred of those forks, heated them, and globbed them together in a classical form. (A companion is made of those red plastic beer cups you may remember from college days.) Fork Head has only the barest suggestion of a face; and though it's a new work, there's something of a degraded aspect to it. This isn't quite like a statue dug out of the ground, its visage long faded away, but the forks are also of ancient origin—old dinosaur bones and plant matter that existed millennia before the Greeks ever took chisel to stone. Those statues were meant to commemorate and honor great men (and a few women), but Fork Head is inherently anonymous. He's no hero or statesman, just a emblem of our times. Tools in a system, we're born to consume. And once broken (or broke), we have no further value to the market. BRIAN MILLER

Mondays-Fridays, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Starts: April 5. Continues through June 1, 2012

 
comments powered by Disqus