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Monday, March 20, 2006

About A Boardwalk

Posted by on March 20 at 17:14 PM

Even when W. Scott Trimble isn’t making moving sculptures, his sculpture still moves. His latest work, his first large-scale installation, opened at Crawl Space on Saturday night, and it is kaleidoscopic in nature, zooming in and out of life-sized scale. Titled Divergent Paths, it takes up the entire gallery.

It is a boardwalk that begins underfoot when you enter, then tapers to miniature size as it splits and its offshoots curve around the room and up the walls, arteries becoming veins becoming capillaries until each ramp, staircase, skybridge, and tightrope hits its own tiny terminal point: a papal/electric highbacked chair, a closed or open door or series of doors (I’ll take door #3, Bob), a charbroiled pit. The swarming city of narratives is made largely of one basic, repeated form, the rectangular wood plank. As the large planks taper into the smaller boardwalks, the paths curve sharply, and these curves continuously refresh the driving thrust of the scene, like the longed-for downhills in a bicycle trip.

At the opening, where Trimble wore a necktie made of little wood planks, he revealed that he began this work—which is more stately than kinetic earlier sculptures such as the landscape-coating vending machine he showed at this past Bumbershoot—after breaking up with a woman he intended to marry. The circumstances and the symbolism of the title seem obvious, but their physical effects here are finely wrought and absolutely enchanting.