When

Jul 06, 2024

Type

Sculpture

Where

Sculpture & Architecture Park

What is set in motion by a double, a shadow image, a reenactment? 

In their practice Kiyan Williams splits, cuts, twists, and tilts monumental forms, creating earthen ruins appearing in various states of suspended entropy. This exhibition brings together new and recent work that set the stage for a world thrown off balance. Vertigo (2024), reconfigures three neoclassical columns, collapsing the towering forms that evoke power and dominance. Removed from their function as structural support for government buildings, the columns stand off-axis and yet on balance, as if toppled over during an extreme (weather) event.

The exhibition also features Ruins of Empire (2022), the artist's first large-scale sculpture, which appropriates the Statue of Freedom, a historic bronze that sits atop the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. In Williams’ recreation, the earthen sculpture sinks into the earth 15 degrees off center. Wild plants grow abundantly around both pieces, with bees and bugs humming in the tall grass. In the installation, Williams has introduced amaranth, a resilient plant that flourishes even in the disturbed and nutrient-deprived soils of urban ruins, and is classified as a “noxious weed” by state and federal agencies.

Williams considers their public art works as collaborations with human and non-human forces that transform subtly within their environments. The sculptures' textured surface shifts in hue as a response to rain and heat; the tactile works are sensitive and responsive to the “touch” of elements. Set against a luscious landscape, the works in Vertigo evoke an archeological site from a speculative future where monumental forms and structures of power are remade and reclaimed by an entanglement of fugitive plant, insect, animal, human, and non-human life. 

Vertigo premieres on July 6 during the Summer Season Opening Party with an opening celebration and barbeque with special guests Nile Harris, DonChristian Jones, ms. z tye, and sound design by Kumi James.

This exhibition is curated by Sara O’Keeffe, Senior Curator, with Guy Weltchek, Curatorial Assistant.