williamstown

Jeffrey Schiff

Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA)

Jeffrey Schiff's installation occupied two dramatically contrasting adjacent rooms in the museum. The first site is a characterless rectangular room subtly illuminated by a skylight. The other gallery is a spectacular octagonal space articulated by an inner circle of Ionic columns supporting a central dome. The two components of Deus Ex Machina, 1988, share tough, industrial formal and material vocabularies, but possess different spatial dynamics. Through their juxtaposition, Schiff explores the relationship of the two structures and the phenomenological experience of architectural space.

In the rectangular gallery, Schiff constructed a metal funnel—an inverted pyramid. At its tapered base, it connected to a narrow pipe that ran into a sealed cylindrical vat. Built to the dimensions of and suspended just beneath the skylight, the metal chamber seemed to engulf the room’s natural light, with

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