For a month this winter, The Noguchi Museum presents Maria Blaisse‘s Breathing Sphere, a computer-controlled, motorized sphere of woven bamboo. The installation creates a spatial and formal dialogue both with Noguchi’s work and with two more of Blaisse’s woven bamboo structures, which are being presented by slowLab at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
In the words of Oek de Jong, taken from Maria Blaisse’s just-published monograph Emergence of Form, she “is one of the designers making an important contribution to the metamorphosis of human existence.” Blaisse’s idealism is pragmatic, rigorous and well-earned. While in the past decade she has set herself to exploring natural structural alternatives for almost anything manmade, she has also designed hats used by Issey Miyake, EVA foam costumes employed by Paula Abdul, and boots for Camper.
Blaisse tends to explore with the directness of nature: water running downhill through soft material, seeking the physically obvious answers to the questions that emerge from her material research. But she is also sympathetic to the instincts that lead us to apply our ingenuity to synthesizing, counterfeiting and opposing nature. Her resolutions of this paradox make her uniquely qualified to help lead us not to anything so twee as a post-industrial utopia, but into a more pragmatic and mutually beneficial relationship with our planet. Her latest large body of work exploring the structural potential of woven bamboo is a prime example; she is presently engaged in expanding one of her bamboo structures to the scale of architecture.
Maria Blaisse comes to New York as part of slowLab’s 2014 Slow knowledge programming. Her bamboo structures are being presented and performed at The Noguchi Museum in partnership with slowLab, with support from the Pratt Institute and the Creative Industries Fund NL.
Performance and Conversation with Maria Blaisse December 6, 1:00pm
Dancers: Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Sara Jimenez, Kimberly Mhoon, and Cynthia Stanley will put two of Blaisse’s bamboo structures through their paces.
The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the artist on the topic ‘Slow Ecology,’ moderated by slowLab.
Open Studio: Finding Form with Maria Blaisse December 7, 11:00am to 1:00pm