|Artwork created during residency|
Residency: June-July 2008
Strong Like Water is two tons of tires attacking five hundred pounds of structural lumber. The lumber is not being used to create a structure. Instead, the weight of the tires keeps the beams more or less upright, and the sculpture is expression of dynamic equilibrium.
I am interested in the difference between the way humans build things (by creating structures that defy gravity) and the way the earth builds things (by eroding, shoving, pulling, heating and twisting, piling and compressing massive quantities of weight). This sculpture is the first of a series of works that subject structural materials and forms to the self-organizing way geology accretes and moves mass. My eventual goal is to return to 6"x6" structural timbers, build the kind of structure that is only evoked by the useless joinery in Strong Like Water, and then completely crush this structure with a similar accretion of massive quantities of tires.
I think there's an important set of metaphors in this work. It's empowering to see destruction as a powerful creative force that can yield good results. It's intellectually honest to conflate tires with geology, seeing as how the tires will eventually become geology. It's correct to watch the earth overtake anything that we can build.
Strong Like Water will be exhibited on the Hudson River as part of the HVCCA's Peekskill Project 2008.
About Deborah Fisher
Deborah Fisher is a sculptor and published critic whose work focuses on the structural meaning of climate change, or the relationship between the built world and the earth. She recently completed a large-scale public sculpture entitled Solid State Change for Middlebury College’s Environmental Studies building—the oldest and best-known interdisciplinary environmental studies program in the country. In 2006, her work about global warming was the subject of an article and multi-media presentation in the New York Times, and was featured on the Mother Nature Edition of Public Radio International’s Weekend America, StrangeWeather.info, Thinking About Art, and the blog Christopher Jagers. She received a Puffin Foundation grant for the production of this body of work in 2006. She will be an artist in residence at Sculpture Space in Utica, NY, in 2008.
Fisher has exhibited her work at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY; Dangerous Curve and Phantom Galleries LA in Los Angeles; Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT; and the Herbert Marcuse gallery in La Jolla, CA. Her eponymous blog has been noted as recommended reading by Paddy Johnson writing for the New York Foundation of the Arts. Fisher contributes regularly to two online magazines: ArtCal Zine and A Gathering of the Tribes.
Fisher earned a BFA in studio art from the University of Arizona in 1997, and an MFA in visual art from UC San Diego in 2003, where she was a Regents scholar and recipient of the Center for Humanities Research Fellowship.