Thursday, December 29, 2011

Roger Feldman's Art of Kinesthetic Experience

Since 1976 my work has used human perceptual processes
as subject, content, and the driving vehicle for [my] work. . .
All of the works [rely] on one premise: viewer participation. . .
As the work has matured, materials, context, and perceptual
sequencing have all developed into a more cohesive relationship. . . 
The overarching interest throughout has been an underlying
fascination with the spiritual. . . The work continues to ask, 
"What is this intangible reality?"
~ Roger Feldman

Take the time to view the many images of site-specific work on award-winning artist Roger Feldman's Website, and you begin to notice the provisions he makes for engaging his viewers: His constructions expose angled walls and curved planes, sloping platforms, tilted stairs, circular ramps, hanging apparatus, fields of different colors that assault the eye, sheathes of fabric, various heights of level or irregular but walkable surfaces, the inclusion of "intentional" components such as natural or constructed sound, video, or movement — all arguing for not only openness to the conceptual vision behind each piece, which may be room-size and made of wood, concrete, mortar, steel, sheetrock, paper, or mixed media, but also for visual, perceptual, and even spiritual connection, or what Feldman describes in his biographical notes as "kinesthetic experiences", tensions, and vulnerabilities. Also evident is the obvious care with which Feldman situates each artwork in its respective environment to promote and take full advantage of interactions with viewers. There are rewards to be had in just looking closely but greater rewards are to be experienced when you step into, onto, or around one of Feldman's sculptures.

Feldman's interesting charcoal-on-metal, pastel-on-metal, and pastel-on-wood-and-mortar drawings are full of movement and seem to experiment with illusion and scale. His digital work is wonderfully textured like collage, frequently arresting in color, and, perceptually, playful; you're impelled to look deeper, go under or through the surface. 

Feldman, who makes his home in Seattle, Washington, currently is constructing an installation on the grounds of Freswick Castle in Scotland. The castle, built on the foundations of a 12th Century Viking settlement, an important archeological site, engages an international community of artists through conferences, exhibitions, retreats, and other creative initiatives sponsored or supported by The Wayfarer Trust. In the 13:48-minute documentary, EKKO, below, Feldman's seen discussing the site and what he wants the work to accomplish. He will complete his artwork, made entirely of stone, in 2012.

EKKO from Fionn Watts on Vimeo.

Feldman's installations can be found around the United States, including in Anchorage, Alaska; Claremont, Pasadena, and Santa Ana, California; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Rochester, New York; McMinnville, Oregon; and Dallas, Texas; and abroad, including in the United Kingdom and Austria. 

Also Of Interest

Roger Feldman, "Off-Centered Consequences", Image Journal, Issue 30, Spring 2001

Roger Feldman, Artist of the Month, Image Journal, November 2001

Roger Feldman Site-Specific Sculpture Installations, BilHenry Gallery

Prayer Book Project Interview with Roger Feldman

My thanks to Transpositions, where I first learned about the documentary. That site's feature on Feldman addresses the issue of "philosophical and religious undercurrents" in the artist's work.


Louise Gallagher said...

wow -- the things I learn here always leave me feeling enriched and in awe.

Thank you!

I don't have time to watch the documentary this morning as we are off to Vancouver to see my eldest daughter -- but I will come back and view it later. It looks fascinating.

S. Etole said...

Beautiful documentary.