Nari Ward


Landings is a hydraulic sculptural installation developed specifically for Documenta. Made of metal piping, barrier cloth (landscaping fabric), stage lights, speakers, and several hundred wheels and casters, Landings is a theatrical object that performs an upward and downward movement every twelve minutes. A compilation of wheel and caster sounds and a slowed- down recording of Blind Willie Johnson's early blues standard "Dark Was the Night" accent its movement.

My work as an installation artist has always flirted with the theatrical; I create works for specific sites that inspire reflection and dialogue and bypass the trappings of the gallery's white cube. In Landings, I use the language of the stage as a point of reference in order to make an alternate reality and define a moment for the audience. The physicality of the material and its transformation become the major characters in the work. In the down position, the form seems to be an aggressive artillery cannon. As it rises, it turns into a landscape of wheels that appear to surround the metal and woven barrier-cloth tree form. Movement and spiritual transcendence are both literally and symbolically manifested in this visual device. Landings dreams of flight and of being connected to nature, but this can be realized only in the mind and imagination of the viewer. Like any good performance, it is only complete when witnessed.