Gallery 3

Cloud Forms

Curator: Michael Galvin

July 26—September 7, 2013

Dana Filibert has installed several sculptures from her series Cloud Forms in Gallery 3. The works are presented on shelves, low plinths, and mounted directly onto the wall. Filibert works by collaging together found objects, carved foam, and fabricated steel elements to produce hybrid forms. She then coats each of these sculptures with a unifying layer of paint and a clear topcoat of a sealant used by the car manufacturing industry. Each piece is named after the Pinto—both the name of a breed of horse and of the namesake Ford car.

The marketing strategies of the auto-industry have made a considerable impression on Filibert. Mustang, Pinto, Bronco, Charger—car companies have—for several decades—been naming their products after horses and horses have long been considered symbols of virility, nobility, and strength.

What interests Filibert is the degree to which we, the consumer, desire to possess the objects that have been blessed by proxy with these attributes. She is interested in the human desire to construct identity through acquisition.

There is humor in Filibert’s choice of materials—Bundt cake molds and gelatin molds nestle like barnacles on the horses’ flanks. These talismans of housewifery are the modest means by which to make lowly ingredients into something special. The small Cloud Form sculptures themselves are of a domestic scale and are desirable in much the same way as porcelain collectibles; the wall pieces are conceived of as trophies. The larger sculptures are human-sized, a meditation on our desire to reinvent ourselves physically and improve upon our bearing.

Though the spherical bubble forms in Filibert’s pieces refer to human biology they are also reminiscent of clouds (hence the title of the series). She remembers looking for shapes in clouds as a child and identifies this as her first creative act. Cloud formations for Filibert are resonant of a more innocent time.