Mixing bowls, mattresses and fans are all common household objects. But two local artists hope to transform such items in their upcoming exhibit, Familiar Machines, opening at the Sculpture Center Jan. 20.
"We want to open up the potential for mundane objects to engage people in a different way, for viewers to realize there's more to objects than their daily functions," says Lauren Yeager, who is teaming with fellow Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Scott Stibich to create four to six sculptures for the show.
One sculpture uses a light, folding room divider, a hat rack and hat to imitate a solar eclipse. Another piece strives to emulate the act of skydiving: A ladder with progressively narrower steps leads to a massage table on extended legs. Underneath the table, a series of high-powered fans blow air upward. "It produces some of the physical and psychological effects of skydiving," says Yeager.
The artists drew inspiration from magical realism fiction, which combines magical elements with the real world. "We want people to imagine the potential for interacting with everyday surroundings to produce unexpected results," says Stibich.
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