New York

Laurace James

A.I.R. Gallery

Similar questions arise with Laurace James's sculpture. Her constructions are made of wood, some surfaces painted, others left raw. Each is accompanied by a set of instructions explaining how the viewer can manipulate the piece. Moving the hinged joints, reattaching hooks to eyes, arriving at an alternative conclusion. The implication: that one result is no better than the other. But also that making a sculpture is simply arranging the material according to certain rules of structuring. For James has not really eliminated the choice of the artist. She sets the framework, limiting the scope of operations. One can only alter her works in specific ways. In a sense, the viewer plays at being artist, making the final decision according to his or her taste. Is this a stipulation of the arbitrariness of the appearance of object? A reverse emphasis on the importance of its concept or structure? But then I wonder about the idea governing the making of these pieces. Does it matter that A hinges to B? Or, is the schema of the rules just as arbitrary as the outcome? Just as much a device for arriving at an art object?

Susan Heinemann