195  "MANIPULATOR"
1985, 78" X 39" X 23", WOOD, PAINT, COLD-CATHODE & ACRYLIC.
There are two figures, one black that supports the other of blue neon. As with all my work, there is the juxtaposing of opposites – here the dark solid and the glowing diaphanous gas. The tops of the neon tubes are connected with a black and white connecting wire. A mouth on the black head supports that wire. In pre-germaphobia societies where people make things like baskets, the mouth joins the two hands in the construction process. The decorative treatment of that wire is an aid to the viewers interpretation of crafting - but what is being crafted is an approximation of another person. So, this sculpture is about man as the primary manipulator organism as well as about parental nurturing. There is one more point that is salient to me but would be missed by any viewer. The neon is not held in place by anything but friction. Given that the glass is as thin and fragile as a fine wine goblet, this is risky engineering. This attraction to risk is systemic to my work – its fragility, electrification and difficult comodification. It also turns up in my life as an avid skier in spite of numerous broken bones.
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