Delivering a welcome dose of whimsy during turbulent times, the Anchorage-based artist transforms Perrotin into a “magic cube of protection” in which a giant denim tunnel carves out passageways to joy and pleasure.
Where to see it: Perrotin (130 Orchard St, New York) until July 29.
Three words to describe it: Fun, fun, fun.
What was on your mind at the time: Originally, my jeans. Jose Diaz invited me to conceive a playful artwork and I immediately had the vision of this sort of inverted tunnel/bridge, suspended. I did not know what it would feel like. My friend Mauro built a small prototype, and sent me a video of himself climbing in it. The excitement I could see in him and I could hear in the voice of his wife, who was filming him, were contagious. I knew then that this was a “must do” project.
An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: It is like swimming in denim, it is like being weightless, it is like going back to childhood when your body is strong as rubber, it is like being carried in a plastic bag and being floated around. It is beautiful to activate the work and make long waves with your arms all along the artwork. It is also a workout, especially for your core.
How it reflects your practice as a whole: Free Land Scape brings a lot of joy, and many of my previous artworks bring a lot of joy. For example, my brightly colored and feathered polar bear sculptures often make people smile deeply and strongly—they make them feel excited. It’s a cocktail party with 15-foot-high fountains, cascades various liquids such as ink, milk, coffee, or olive oil, and provokes a sort of euphoria in people, similar to that we feel when we approach waterfalls in nature.
At The Bass, I installed World Record, an immersive installation where people could climb in a monumental sculpture, inserting their bodies between two wide surfaces made of white mattresses. There was an immediate feeling of being relieved of all worries. The conversations between strangers were suddenly very different, open and smoother. In my installation Untitled (slope), exhibited for the first time at the London Frieze Art Fair in 2003, people could roll down a slope of grass at a considerably fast speed, it made people feel dizzy and happy and high.
One song that captures its essence: I don’t know a song that captures the essence of the work. Art and music can, of course, capture each other, at times, but this work is a completely new, immersive experience, so no song belonging to this world can compare to it.