Indepth Arts News: |
"Pietro Costa: Conflicts & War"
2003-05-11 until 2003-10-26
Katonah Museum of Art
USA United States of America
The Katonah Museum of Art presents a site-specific outdoor installation by Pietro Costa. This new work entitled "Conflicts & War" will be on display until October 26, 2003. Born to a farming family in Sant'Arsenio, Italy, the Brooklyn-based artist Pietro Costa has done some creative "gardening" at the Katonah Museum of Art. Digging into the earth, Costa has installed a series of translucent Fiberglas cylinders that echo the shape and verticality of the trees in the Sculpture Garden.
Contained within each cylinder is a single possessive noun in neon that emits a pulsating glow of color. Buried within the ground, these words suggest the motivation behind the artwork and its title. A mirror at the bottom of each cylinder reflects the faces of viewers against the canopy of trees, effectively blending the industrial materials within a natural setting.
"The installation does not resonate with violence, as its title would suggest. Rather, Costa uses text and industrial materials to illuminate problems of perception and identity that exist at the very core of conflict. Contained within each cylinder is a single word spelled in neon light. The words are connected to dimmers, which cause them to glow brightly and then fade out. There is a hypnotic syncopation in the on/off dichotomy of the work. Just as light can be either revealing or blinding, words can be precise or ambivalent, and conflict can be justified or immoral. The power of Costa’s cylinders resides in the indefinable space between the "on" and "off," when a slippage of meaning and language occurs. Costa’s words are in constant flux both physically and metaphorically. They are shifting modifiers, which take on different meanings depending upon context and point of view."
- Ellen J. Keiter, Curator