On September 16, the Phillips unveiled a new sculpture by Angela Bulloch on the corner of 21st and Q Streets. We asked Angela a few questions about her artwork. Read Part I of the interview here.
How do you think Heavy Metal Stack: Fat Three Cyan fits with the Phillips? How did you choose these colors/this size for this commission?
The colors were chosen to contrast with the surrounding area. The color—cyan blue—is not only the opposite color of the orange bricks but it’s also an important color used often around Washington, DC. I’ve placed the lighter color on the underside of the sculpture for the first time with the plan that it would be illuminated from the ground up at night because I thought that would be a good artificial inversion. The sun will illuminate the sculpture from above during the day in the usual way.
How does your modern/minimalist sculpture change when placed in front of a brick house built in 1897? How does it interact with the surrounding area of Dupont Circle?
This work is neither a modern nor a minimal sculpture. The techniques used in its fabrication date the sculpture—it could not have been made like this before the 1990s, really. Aesthetically I think it fits in well with the surroundings—Dupont Circle or in front of a building made about 100 years prior to the technology used for its making. The contrast between the sculpture and the building behind it is deliberately sharp.
What do you want people to think/feel when they see your artwork?
I don’t like to prescribe people’s feelings, but when I look at the sculpture I think it looks alien, bold yet comfortably present, holding the corner as it does, and I cannot resist the temptation to ascribe human qualities to it despite the fact that it is anything but human. Although I think wishing to humanize blind objects reveals something more about me rather than the sculpture.
Much of your work incorporates time-based elements, such as shifting light patterns, sound, and interactive mechanisms. On the contrary, Heavy Metal Stack: Fat Cyan Three is a static object. How do you envision audiences interacting with your sculpture at the Phillips?
Oh that’s not a question that I can answer. I have many thoughts but no statement . . . let’s ask the audience.