Call & Response
Kristyna and Marek Milde
Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017
Pictured above: In-Tree-Net, 2017, wood, plumbing hardware, 10 x 4 x 1 feet. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.
Kristyna and Marek Milde’s sculptural installation examines the relationship between nature and the built environment. The piece is constructed using tree branches. Attached to the wall and ceiling with plumbing hardware, they resemble pipes and engineering systems, as if the building’s internal structure has been exposed. The branches used in the installation represent the inherent and vital forces that connect architectural interiors to the natural landscape outdoors. While the project suggests functionality, it points to our dependence on natural resources such as heat and water, which enter the building through these types of engineering systems.
Hills and Valleys of the Sofa Wilderness
Sunroom Project Space | May 23–July 6, 2014
Hills and Valleys of the Sofa Wilderness, 2014, aluminum, insulation material, soil, moss, grass, ferns and stones, 29 1/2 x 64 x 32 and 29 1/2 x 32 x 32 inches. Courtesy of the artists.
Kristyna and Marek Milde’s art examines the effects of architecture, design and interior space on how we see and relate to the outside world. In their practice, the Mildes create objects, situations and events that use both organic and artificially constructed elements to confront cultural views and fantasies about nature. Their projects often take the form of do-it-yourself home improvements, revisiting the role of furnishing and decorating. They believe that the interior-based culture prevalent today creates boundaries between the man-made and organic realms, producing a removed perspective of the world. To counteract this disconnect, the artists explore methods for transforming built spaces in ways that reconnect people to the larger environmental contexts of culture, geography and nature. Their work creates a shift when plant material from outdoors is placed inside the gallery space.
At Wave Hill, the Mildes create a lounge where visitors can experience the natural landscape from the comfort of the domestic interior. Their Sunroom Project, Hills and Valleys of the Sofa Wilderness, transfers a piece of woodland floor into containers that are shaped like a couch and a chair and filled with transplanted ferns, moss, grasses and stones from Manitoga in Garrison, NY. Visitors are encouraged to sit down, as they would in the forest, and experience the forms, texture, smell and feeling of the organic materials. While deconstructing the traditional use of plant motifs in interior design, Hills and Valleys amplifies the contrast between outside and inside, provoking questions about how to engage with the natural world in the isolation of urban dwellings.
Hills and Valleys of the Sofa Wilderness, study, 2014, aluminum, insulation material, soil, moss, grass, ferns and stones, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists.
Support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.