Friday, April 20, 2012

“Spurt” by Melinda McDaniel

“Spurt,” created by Melinda McDaniel in 2009, is currently on display at View as part of the "Paper Anniversary" exhibit. It is an intriguing piece because it changes over time. The strips of paper gradually fall, but the piece can be turned around and re-hung so the drooping process can start all over again.

Here’s what it looked like when it was first hung in early March 2012.

Here’s what it looks like on April 20, 2012.

I asked Melinda if she would like to comment on the piece for this blog post. Here’s what she said.

“The weight of the paper will shift depending on which wire the work is hung from. I like for the paper to be sticking out from the panel, but over time, the weight of the paper pulls it to hang downward. When the opposite wire is used, it gives the paper a chance to hang in the opposite direction, and in this process the paper sticks straight out, but only for a short amount of time.

“The explanation above contributes to the name of the piece -- I felt the strips of paper appeared to be spurting out from the panel.

“I made the work in reference to the piece Accession II by Eva Hesse. The Detroit Institute of Art has an excellent feature on this piece:

“ ‘Spurt’ is made with unprocessed color photo paper. The paper is pulled directly from its protective light-tight bag into white light -- something you would normally never do with this type of paper (to photographers, this would be instantly ruining the paper). This web link leads to images of the work on my website:
“The first two images, where the paper appears blue in color, were taken in 2009 when the work was first created. The last image, where the paper appears to be a light tan color was made in 2012 and shows the shift in color the paper has had due to exposure to light over time. When you look at the back of the panel, you can still see the blue color of the paper and this is because the back of the panel rarely gets exposed to light.” 

 Spurt reminds me of a big gentle, scrub brush or a giant shredder in progress. It tickles my fancy, but I have so far resisted the urge to touch it. Touching is not allowed, by the way. I think another View viewer may have been inspired by “Spurt.” These strips were created and hung above the Creation Stations in the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” exhibit.

Come view, create, and vote for your favorite entry in the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” exhibit. The winner gets a prize! The exhibit closes on May 6.

--Leslie Bailey, View staff

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