The L: What are you working on for your two exhibitions this winter?
Ruby Sky Stiler:
These sculptures are made of foam and acrylic resin, so they look heavy but they're actually made of Home Depot materials and contemporary art supplies. The space that I originally had in mind when I was working on this project was this big, more spacious exhibition space in Portland (at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
), where there's a lot of room to walk around each sculpture and have a one-on-one relationship with that object. But in Nicelle (Beauchene)'s gallery
, I have to think about the site and prepare the work, and think about how that site affects the sculptures. This is actually the size of the gallery (points at black tape on floor, which divides the studio in half)—she doesn't have a mini-fridge and all my books and art supplies and stuff obviously. But there's not really space, without it feeling cluttered, to have a meditative, circular relationship with these sculptures.
My impulse was to really honor that situation, so I'm building this platform for sculptures to sit on together so I can arrange this intentionally cluttered vibe. It's a really shallow platform that creates this kind of performative space for these figures, as opposed to a more traditionally sculptural installation, which is the way that I'd installed them previously. But I also like the way that movement around this platform really forces you to accept these as sculptures in the round, which is the way that I think about them even though they really assert a very conventional front and back. But I think that these chunky, abstract, more masculine shapes in the other views of the pieces are really important to me in terms of the way you view the work. So I'm excited about the way that you see this as one whole work and individual works from different views at the same time. The other elements of this show are the collages—and I'm not sure how many of them will hang.
The work at Derek (Eller)'s gallery
is really related to that, and I'm really excited for the emotional and physical overlapping, and the fact that it spans the city. When you see the show at Derek's and then you see the show at Nicelle's there's maybe a memory that happens that influences the way that you approach the next show.