ThreadCurator: Michael Galvin
July 26—September 7, 2013
The installation that Adam Brent has developed for Artspace is a collaboration between himself and his father. It is the first time that the two men have worked together to produce a work of art.
Inside gallery 2 are three versions of a Braided New England rug. Braided rugs have long been part of Brent’s sculptural vernacular; he uses them to refer to the many notions of home, family, memory and domesticity which concern him. For Brent they are eloquent both of domestic space and of domestic endeavour. With its coiled rope of braided fabric, the rug stands for ‘the tie that bonds’ and represents the unavoidable continuums in our lives despite what ruptures may occur.
Brent’s father Michael is a man who has adapted through many periods of transition. He now lives in Cape Cod where he makes tiny balsa wood figures for radio control enthusiasts to fix into their models. The little portraits are made after photographs sent by his clients. Brent wryly began to think of his father as an ‘old-timey’ 3D printer and this observation prompted Brent to buy a 3D printer, and create a project through which their processes could be made analogous.
Adam Brent designed a 54 inch braided rug on Google SketchUp and asked his father to carve it from balsa wood. At the same time, the younger man began to print the design in plastic using his MakerBot printer. Both processes proved equally lengthy and as each man worked, the other was paralleling his endeavour.
Brent’s assistant has made a third rug in satin. The shiny white satin is both a sculptural counterpoint to the other two rugs and has a visual relationship to the printed plastic. On the floor of the gallery is a coiled rope, also printed in 3D by the MakerBot. It is a metaphorical joining device and its circularity seems to suggest the notion of temporal cycles.
Work connects people and for Brent collaboration is made deeply meaningful by this fact. He is a long-time collaborator with the collective Bro-lab and feels that, through all the difficulties of teamwork, something ineffably special is produced.