Call & Response
Sunroom Project Space | October 26–December 1, 2013
Against Nature (detail), 2013, work in progress for Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, steel studs, medium-density fiberboard, 10 2/3’ x 17 1/2’ x 16’ feet.Courtesy of the artist.
Alan Ruiz restructures and intervenes in art historical, architectural and institutional spaces, treating them as sites of perception and challenging the relationship between object, context and phenomenological encounter. Ruiz is interested in using conceptual formalism to confront authoritative and normative ways of engaging with the pictorial. His work participates in systems of cultural production while simultaneously critiquing them, reversing perspectives and subjects and opening the work to multiple meanings.
Ruiz’s Sunroom Project, Against Nature, adds to an ongoing body of work that explores architectural screens as socially and politically emblematic forms. The installation, a screen system composed of three layers of alternating standardized steel studs, emphasizes the idea of the Sunroom as a container. The screen frames the perimeter of the room, articulating its envelope as the boundary between interior and exterior, public and private, bound and unbound space. The industrial steel frame occludes the large, iconic windows; this modern building material is juxtaposed with the neo-classical design of Glyndor House. Ruiz takes this material, which is typically hidden from view, and puts it on display. The studs lose their traditional function as structural support and instead are arranged as a sculptural object that regulates the light entering the room. In this project, Ruiz also imagines the potential for natural light to be acquired as a privileged material in and of itself. By obscuring the views from the windows, Against Nature creates an immersive experience that alludes to the hyper-development and privatization of our natural environment.
Against Nature (installation view), 2013, steel studs, medium-density fiberboard,
10 2/3’ x 17 1/2’ x 16 feet. Courtesy of the artist.
The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.