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      detail Incident: No.47 in Wendy Hirschberg: Incident: No. 47
       photo by Lori Ortiz
      detail "Incident: No.47"
    Shed incident

    Wendy Hirschberg's sculptural installation "Incident: No. 47" at Holland Tunnel Gallery is one of both destruction and creation.


    Wendy Hirschberg fills the Holland Tunnel garden shed with one sculptural work entitled "Incident: No.47." Her constructions of living rooms and industrial cockpit interiors were last seen at A.I.R. Gallery, evenly spaced at eye level. This season they dot the garden shed cum miniature art gallery amid connective tissue of screening scraps, household wire shelving, patterned or perforated sheet metal. The interior vignettes themselves are fragmentary, consisting of one or two chairs configured to suggest cockpit or treehouse patio. A banquette and flooring created with riveted sheets makes a grand interior of its own within the shed walls.

    Exhibition: Incident: No. 47.
    Sculpture, installation by: Wendy Hirschberg.
    September 10 - October 10, 2004

    Gallery: Holland Tunnel Art Projects
    61 South 3rd St.
    Brooklyn NY
    Phone: (718) 384-5738

    The airy terraced architecture appears an intuitive or organic sprawl. Like the growth of cities, without a mathematic masterplan. Changes in scale bring to mind "Alice in Wonderland." The layout suggests Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who" in the lyrical, whimsical perspective of patios at levels that meander from floor to ceiling. You can almost hear the 'who' of a distant unseen life once seated in the empty chairs. The vignettes that dot "Incident" evince all too numerous disasters of recent years. Fragments blown apart, dredged, and catalogued, speak of the deceased in Hirschberg's contemplative memorial.

    The airiness of the thin or perforated materials used to create the open cabins, banquettes, screens, and balconies of this 'Invisible City' emphasize its temporality. Evoking past, present or future, its real-time life is the duration of the gallery exhibit. You can walk a few feet into the space with hospital booties provided in a box by the door. The visual experience is melded with the clean white walls she has appropriated as it's housing.

      detail Incident: No.47 in Wendy Hirschberg: Incident: No. 47
       photo by Lori Ortiz
      detail "Incident: No.47"
    The tiny space is difficult to photograph, unlike Kurt Schwitters' 'Merzbau' that inspired Hirschberg. Schwitters' installation in Hannover spread to eight rooms but was destroyed in a WWII Allied air raid; it only survives in photo documentation. The title "Incident: No.47" supports the ephemeral nature of the work. The references are multiple. There is the incident of its creation, and also the incidents it suggestively recreates.

    Hirschberg achieves a delicate palette in bits of black, gray, and silver. Small pastel 1"x1" ceramic tiles are floating accents in the white interior. All this offsets the lush green outside the shed windows — propped open with clusters of sculpted screen, cuts of rubber mats and bolts. The breath of air infuses what otherwise might seem a dearth of life, with hope.

    Hirschberg fashions the illusion of wracked steel from common building supply. The vertiginous installation of vignettes is gently cautionary. Nevertheless, the "Incident" built of these shards and fragments is infused with utopian poetry in a found omnipresence of humanity.

    SEPTEMBER 27, 2004

    Reader comments on Wendy Hirschberg: Incident: No. 47:

  • [no subject]   from johel rios, Dec 15, 2009
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