Held / Ka kelen kelen wili (May we wake up one by one)

September 15, 2009 - November 5, 2009
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases

by Andrew Hayes

The book, as an object, transports information and narrative. As I cut the pages from the binding, I sever them from their content. The pages allow me to create a mass and form that references the past life of the paper. I contain the pages with metals and restrict the paper to formal qualities. The interaction between the paper and steel compels me to make this work.

BPL Exhibition, Andrew HayesAndrew Hayes worked as a welder in different industrial settings before becoming a student in the Core Fellowship Program at Penland School of Crafts. He has shown his work in Portland at the Museum of Contemporary Craft Gallery, and in North Carolina at the Penland School of Craft Gallery, Blue Spiral 1 and Rebus Works.

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Ka kelen kelen wili (May we wake up one by one)

by Janet Goldner


I have been making hinged sculptural steel books with movable pages since the early 1990s. They began as a way to add layers and complexity to hanging panels, which are similar to pages. I add multiple pages which are pieced and pierced by imagery and text, resulting in playfully layered steel collages constructed from my own scrap steel.

By melding text and steel, I discovered a sense of permanence, power and urgency. I use a welding torch to form letters, images and patterns. The large-scale hanging steel panels and vessels examine important contemporary events and political concepts beyond their everyday meaning in a direct, accessible and specific way, inviting meditation.

I have made many trips to Africa over the last 30 years, and I have been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with Malian artists and artisans about our lives, our work and our creative process. As a result of these travels and my own layered American cultural identity, I combine Western and non-Western images, ideas and issues of cultural identity.

In 1987, I was inspired by ancient Greek vessels that documented historic events. I then fabricated the first of many Greek-influenced forms resembling an abstracted woman's torso. A Malian potter, whose utilitarian vessels hold water and food, asked me what my vessels hold. My response was that my vessel held ideas, like books.

My text comes from many sources including my own journals, poetry, dictionaries and popular media such as The New York Times. I enjoy doing research, and in the case of my piece Most of Us Are Immigrants, the research took as long as the fabrication of the steel sculpture itself. My research and personal interviews brought me to specialized libraries all over New York City, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of Chinese in America and Ellis Island.


BPL Exhibition, Janet GoldnerJanet Goldner has shown her work at national and international venues, including the New Museum and Art Resources Transfer in Manhattan, and Colgate University in New York. She is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and artist residencies, including a grant from the Ford Foundation, a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and a grant from the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid. She has curated exhibitions, published articles and catalogs, lectured, and led sculpture workshops and community art projects in the United States and Mali. She earned a M.A. in sculpture from New York University and a B.A. in art from Antioch College in Ohio.

To contact the artist:
art@janetgoldner.com | www.janetgoldner.com