Darth invader of Bird Park

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After receiving an email alert from Ron Klein, I stopped by Bird Park to look at his newest black inflatable, “Doing.” What I saw was the Darth Vader of balloondom, bobbing and weaving in the wind.
I was happy to see a new piece of outdoor art in the little pocket park that Gallery Joe owner Becky Kerlin had put on hiatus for a while. (Klein’s gallery is Pentimenti. Here’s my post on his last show there).

“Doing’s” dark presence–a sort of pumped up, double-headed bishop with a scrunched cravat or obi in between–had a seriousness that the light, balloon quality undercut and augmented all at once–bringing up thoughts of black holes, still air inside, air outside and playfulness.

Suddenly the cravat, and the head covered with brown netting became a costume or a uniform of some alien space sentry.

And in Bird Park, behind the iron fence, “Doing” had an inner bounciness and presence that confinement failed to quench.

I wondered whether “Doing,” the name of the piece, rhymed with stewing or with Gerald McBoingBoing. Here’s Klein’s answer:

Doing, not doing, refers to the act of non-action versus action. The piece is motivated by the wind to “do” or achieve motion.

When there is no wind it is “not doing” These words to describe my feelings were inspired by Taoist literature and philosophy. Not doing is as important as doing. In music silence is as important as noise. Doing, not doing is an act of life. Both being equal and necessary, as is this sculpture.

To me it is beautiful both as an action and non-action. Part of the magic of the piece is it’s interaction with nature, or in this case the wind as it motivates change. I think of this sculpture as having tremendous energy given to it by wind and friction and also contemplative or meditative energy given to it by non movement or stillness. …

The fishnet ………..I worked with indigenous fisherman weavers in Burma and made many nets as party of a large project called Burmese Nature in 1997-98. This project has been shown several times and has a video that accompanies it which documents the project in Burma. I used one of the nets for this piece. This net forms a cocoon over the inflatable and allows it to be hung. The piece is hollow, only supported by AIR (as such the wind is a primary ingredient both inside the piece and outside).

Klein, who mostly works in black or white, has created an anthropomorphic plumb bob, blown by nature in unplanned directions, its weightlessness making gravity nearly null. The leaden, hardware quality of a plumb bob is completely contradicted by the materials here.

In a funny way, I am also reminded of Richard Artschwager’s blips, the Klein reminding me of an exclamation point that creates a dark hole in the urban landscape.

I asked Kerlin whether Bird Park was back in the art business. Here’s what she answered:

I guess Bird Park is back in operation. Following Ron is an event for the Fringe and then, hopefully, a piece by a local architect. I’m waiting for a proposal -I think it will be a go. – probably in October.

“Doing” is a nice piece to celebrate the park’s return to the art world, looking peaceful in the jittery urban landscape, dressed in all black like an artist.

And speaking of new spaces, I got a note from Rob Minervini who has his first solor show coming up at a gallery I wasn’t aware of yet: Darius Gallery 116 N. 3rd St.

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