San Francisco

John Randolph/Bruce Tomb

New Langton Arts

John Randolph and Bruce Tomb’s collaborative architectural installations point toward the eradication of the traditional separation of “fine” art and functional, workmanlike aspects of architecture and design. In Randolph and Tomb’s most recent installation, entitled Prima Facie, 1991, art and life met in an elaborately engineered, gallery-sized device. If houses are the metaphorical equivalents for bodies, then stepping into this installation was like entering a brain. Seen from the gallery door, the structure suggested an immense wooden camera; like a set of stereoscopic lenses, two identical corridors led from the piece’s central chamber to the gallery’s windows. These corridors narrowed progressively, from normal standing height to a small rectangle of window, in which the glass had been replaced with some miraculous material that, at the flip of a switch, changed from opaque to

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