BREATHING

MAX STREICHER

Inflatable sculptures have been playing a major role in my work since 1991. In most sculptures and installations I have used industrial fans and simple valve mechanisms to animate woven forms. With this, I have achieved unexpected animated gestures.

 

Significantly, it has been the use of lightweight materials, such as the Tyvek (and more recently nylon spinnaker), the basis from which I have developed my work, and more specifically my interest in the introduction of movement in my figures. The lightness of this material allows a surprisingly subtle reaction to the action of the air that shelters its interior, transmitting an unsuspected naturalism very close to the sensation that we have of breathing.

 

 

The inflatables are of course objects of enchantment, fantasy and optimism, even so sometimes things go wrong, take the Hindenburg as an example. In my works the possible affliction before the whims of the air acquires different forms. The scale is an important factor. My giants, for example, are designed to overwhelm. It seems they are fighting.

 

But what is the end of this fight? Whatever its meaning, it depends on the reading that each viewer contributes to his contemplation. To some it will seem to the yearning that precedes all breathing, the difficulty to get up, portraying an image of play, even of resurrection. However, for other visitors it can at the same time represent an image of torture. Both cases have much in common with physical empathy, the intrinsic forces that encourage us all.