Arts Toob Love
posted by July 11 at 16:31 PMon
This video is all that remains of an enormous impromptu art installation that appeared for four hours last Thursday afternoon in Volunteer Park, then disappeared.
The artist was Susan Robb, and the installation was called Warmth, Giant Black Toobs no. 3 I wrote about it in a column that just came out today.
Last Thursday was quintessential July. I wouldn’t have pegged Susan Robb for July, maybe October or April, something slyer, but last Thursday, she made a piece of quintessentially July art. It was hot and light and playful and right out on the lawn near the conservatory at Volunteer Park.
Robb has made her Toobs three times now. The first time was in Tieton, where the garbage-bag material they’re made of got shredded in the wild grass. The second time, she took photographs, and sent them out in an email announcing that they’d be going up last week.
In [the photograph], seven big stalks (toobs) like black baseball bats towered over the trees and over the white-dome top of the conservatory. They looked like they were taking themselves unfortunately seriously. Photographs are such liars. The real toobsóa nice gender-crossing wordóweren’t serious at all. Staked to the ground at one end, they were flopping around in the wind like very conflicted, overly long phalluses. They were topped by knots that made their faces, when they came swinging in your direction, look like the butts of sausages.
Because of the difference between the toobs in photo and the toobs in person, I didn’t want to post anything about the toobs on Slog until video was available—which just happened today (perfect timing).
And now that I see the video, I’m struck that the video toobs seem neither like the still photograph of toobs no. 2 from before:
nor like the way they were in person out there on the lawn (light, hot, playful).
In the video, they’re much more mysterious, even a little foreboding, and very independent of the artist (which came across almost as strongly in person).
Robb’s sense of humor is still there—see the final seconds, when you’re stared down by the cyclops of a mischievous toob that breaks away from the bunch—but the lo-fi technology of Youtube and the sound she’s added prevent this from being a document.
It’s a new work.