Louise Nevelson said, “When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you’re really bringing them to life – a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created.”
In my abstract assemblages, the mechanical parts I am using lose their identity completely; they form a new body, a new entity, with totally different functions than the original ones. It is a realistic approach (one can recognize many of the original parts used) but not a representational one. Representation bleeds into abstraction and vice versa.
I take apart a large variety of mechanical devices I can find such as typewriters, movie projectors, film cameras, reel to reel tape decks, sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, household appliances, photo enlargers, printers, etc. and use their parts as marks in my new series of sculptural works. The individual objects and the marks they make coexist.
By changing the essential properties of the initial, found parts and using rational schemes and known mechanical principles, I connect them with the intent of manipulating them into a new idea, engaging the materials to see where it takes me. The connections are like joints in a human body or like potential connections of parts capable of creating motion or energy. The resulting things might look like abstractions that have the qualities of a futuristic city viewed from space or of complicated machinery. Looking for connections to any realistic object is futile because not enough information is given. The meaning of each piece is left to the viewer to figure out.
Using the visible fasteners, mainly screws to connect each piece to the board was very important to me. It connects the objects visually. In the end, the assemblages are spray painted black, further unifying the individual objects. Not one stands apart in color.
Just as in the Soviet Montage films of Vertov, Pudovkin, Eisenstein where the film does not exist in the individual shots but only in their combination through editing into a whole, I use the black objects to create an intellectual montage using spatial continuity and a juxtaposition of elements. They look like they contain secrets that will become apparent the longer you look at them. I let the viewer make the emotional and conceptual connections.
The process of gathering the objects is a very important aspect of creating these images.
By using mechanical parts of objects from a past technological era – most of which are now obsolete – I am trying to create futuristic visions calculated to stimulate the viewer’s senses.
In this sense there is a resurrection of the mechanical elements in an age of computers and plastic.