Sarah Sze: 360 (Portable Planetarium)
The artistic mediums of painting, sculpture, and architecture collide in the intricate installations of New York based artist Sarah Sze. Her impressive works of architectural scale often feature the use of household items such as lightbulbs, oscillating fans, teabags, toilet paper, jeans, string, rocks, paper, and house plants, forming the everyday into a fantastical testament to contemporary issues concerning interconnectivity and ecological sustainability. In the process, these household objects are re-appropriated and their value re-evaluated.
360 (Portable Planetarium) is a complex and labour-intensive work that leaves viewers breathless, inviting them inside an architectural haven of scattered possibilities. Having experienced the work in person at the National Gallery here in Ottawa, I was immediately drawn to its fractal nature. While the items Sze uses vary in function, I felt as though each part of the installation was directly related to another, creating a multi-faceted dialogue.
Portable Planetarium transforms the everyday into a source of wonder. With a collection of accumulated items it configures a new, confined, world of possibilities and illustrates new ways in which we can continuously use items that appear to have little significance.
For more examples of Sarah’s work, visit her website. Portable Planetarium will be moving to the Art Gallery of Alberta in a week.
- Victoria Nolte