by Jen Graves
on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 2:34 PM
I screamed at last night's SIMPARCH opening. (No, no, not embarrassing at all.) I screamed because a woman crawled out the mouth of the humongous Godzilla lying at my feet. (She was unharmed. She was chipper, in fact, which I think made the shock worse.)
Godzilla is lying there, taking up the entire Bellevue gallery Open Satellite, because he can't even be bothered to attack cities anymore—they're doing the self-destructive work of making themselves bland and indistinct already, his sleepiness seems to imply. He's just lost interest.
Meanwhile, Godzilla himself—by two members of SIMPARCH (a collective named after "simple" and "architecture"), Steve Badgett and Matt Lynch—is a work of surprisingly interesting architecture.
From the outside he's just a big green eyeless bumpy creature made of shadecloth stapled onto a wood frame.
Eventually, though, as you walk around him, you find an opening in his belly. Once you get into his carpeted innards, all around you are webby tunnels that end in vanishing points (his tail, his mouth, his clawed legs).
The structure is an improvised web of wood slats sort of haphazardly pieced together, as if the artists actually built the thing by sight rather than premeditation—as in, "Here, put one here." "Yeah, let's add one there."
Big-budget works of sculptural architecture like, say, the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, computer-model their seeming randomness into fastidious being. But this Godzilla's randomness comes from simply trying to build something that won't fall down, within a small budget, and on a deadline. A sort of joy is the result.
See for yourself through October 3. Also be sure to check out the installation from the outside; the gallery window looks in on his innards. More views on the jump.
Click to enlarge; all images this post by Matt Lynch of SIMPARCH.