Archive for the ‘ Adam Hager ’ Category

Adam Hager at the Arlington Art Center

I recently visited Adam Hager’s Mechanical Resonance at the Arlington Art Center. Hager has taken apart mechanical objects and rebuilt them into objects resembling toys. The base materials come from¬†functional objects like car parts, computers, clocks, a music box, and sewing machines. What is interesting here is taking parts that are used for labor and reapplying them to constructed objects seemingly used for play. 2016-05-04 15.00.47.jpg

The origins of these things are industrial, with symmetry used for specific purposes. Yet that purpose is suborned with whimsy. A kid would want to play with these. Maybe the staff has to keep kids from running off with them. But they aren’t just toys. They are in the art setting. They are toys for art. Toys for collectors. One of them sold, a pink dot (not a red dot). Will the collector play with it? What is the lineage of these objects? From industry, to toy, to art.

There is whimsy in their scale as well. This one is tiny, and under a magnifying glass.

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Hager’s keystone of the show is a car engine with hand crank. Pistons potentially pistoning. All metal and seemingly capable of going right back into a car, right back to its origin.¬†When I visited I was lucky enough to see another object interact with the engine.

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Maybe the bucket has some more mechanical resonance with the engine.

The engine piece is called Tune. Turn the crank and the pistons pump, chiming off tuning forks. Tune the engine, tune the forks, tune the mechanical resonance from efficient to whimsy and back.

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