San Francisco

William Soghor and James Prestini

Quay Gallery

At the Quay Gallery William Soghor’s bags of a metallic-colored plastic breathed on a twenty minute schedule. There were a half dozen of them, all hanging. The act of expanding was perhaps their most interesting aspect. In the pneumatic state they are bloated bladders which vary from hamlike to symmetrical. They make a very otherworldly room. To be among them makes you conscious of yourself as a thing of bladders, lobes and appendages. The metallic element in the color specifically undoes any organic symbolism of the form. The forms do not go up like some balloons but hang down. The forms change from limp to pneumatic, and in their most constant bloat form seemed to be growing slightly, so they are not forms but unforms. The forms were seamed together and it occurred to me that they were breathing through their seams; someone in the room was listening to the seams, as though to empirically test just such a guess, or perhaps his ear just came up to there on the thing. I doubt if anyone resisted touching them, and in some cases people were touched by them.

James Prestini’s forms are, on the other hand, very precise. He works with heavy industrial sections of metal which have been trued up with perfect edges and very polished nickel-plated surfaces which reflect like a mirror. These mirror surfaces see the whole environment from a variety of directions in the case of the more cubic pieces, and limn concave and convex mirror distortions of much of the environment, including yourself as you stand looking at it, in the curved pieces. The parts of the piece all reflect each other and everything gets repeated several times in a variety of ways.

Knute Stiles