New York Art@Site Rachel Owens Inveterate Composition for Clare

Rachel Owens


Inveterate Composition for Clare

Frist Center
Violent and loving
You are faced with a large shapeless object. The white color makes you think of an fine made artwork.
Then you see details like headlights, car tyres, car doors. Could this be a car which is demolished and on a new way re-assembled again? Or could this be a dangerous vehicle that can drive into your room any time and could destroy your life in a snapshot?
Coming even closer, you hear a sound. This is the sound of a whale; a huge animal that slowly travels through the oceans, that eats peasefull plankton and that gives absolutely no danger.
In this artwork two extremes are united: life endangerment and loving coexistence. The life threating concerns human being and and the loving coexistence concerns the animal.
Composition for Clare by Rachel Owens makes on a crude way clear that humans can be violent. And that humans have much to learn from animals. Hopefully, this is done in time, before humanity has brought an end to life iof tself.
By Theo,

Gewelddadig en liefdevol
Je wordt geconfronteerd met een groot vormeloos object. In eerste instantie denk je bij de witte kleur aan een fijnbesnaard kunstwerk.
Dan zie je details als koplampen, autobanden, autodeuren. Kan dit een gesloopt en op een geheel nieuwe manier opnieuw in elkaar gesleutelde auto zijn? Of zou dit een gevaarlijk voertuig zijn dat elk moment je kamer kan binnenrijden en je leven in één snapshot kan verwoesten?
Nog dichter bij gekomen hoor je een geluid. Dit is het geluid van een walvis; een reusachtig dier dat langzaam door de oceaan vaart, liefdevol plankton eet en volstrekt geen gevaar vormt.
In dit kunstwerk zijn twee uitersten verenigd: levensbedreiging en liefdevolle co-existentie. De levensbedreiging betreft de mens en het liefdevolle het dier.
Composition for Clare van Rachel Owens maakt op een hardhandige wijze duidelijk dat de mens gewelddadig kan zijn. En dat de mens nog veel te leren heeft van dieren. Hopelijk gebeurt dit tijdig, nog voor dat de mensheid zichzelf heeft om het leven heeft gebracht.
By Theo,
The crashed car has become an iconic form of the violence and excesses of contemporary culture as seen in work from John Chamberlain's car part sculptures and Andy Warhol’s infamous Death and Disaster series, to Charles Ray’s Untitled sculpture and Jeremy Deller’s Conversations about Iraq. Summoning references from the political strife and conflict overseas to our planet’s general discord, Rachel Owens’s latest sculpture continues this discourse, while adding focus on environmental distress to the pile of ruins.
However, her abstract, melodious form also has a hulking beauty and calming presence that speaks to an undertone of optimism and the potential for change and renewal.This work was originally developed with the enthusiastic support of the late Clare Weiss, curator for the New York City Parks Department, who passed away in January 2010 after a long battle with breast cancer. This piece is dedicated to her. This project was completed with Zieher Smith Gallery.
Installed at the Demonbreun Street entrance to the Frist Center, Inveterate Composition for Clare (2011), by Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Owens, is composed of dismantled sections of two replica military Humvee shells, which have been reconstructed and welded together in a monumental, quasi-cubist form. The central iconography of rebuilt military vehicles suggests the fragmentation of war, while alluding to the extra layers of metal that American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan welded onto their Humvees and other transports to provide added protection from the improvised explosive devices (I.E.D.s) used against them. This work is at once a reflection of the horror of war and a memorial to those who have sacrificed their lives in its conduct.
A stereo system inside the sculpture initially hints at the music that soldiers riding in military vehicles might have used to calm themselves or psych themselves up for combat. But instead of hip-hop or heavy metal, the soundtrack is composed of the songs of whales and crashes of glaciers; haunting sounds that make an emotional link between human conflict and environmental vulnerability. Painted metallic white, the angular form of the sculpture suggests the jagged edges of an iceberg, establishing a connection between the global warming that is shrinking the ice pack and the consumption of fossil fuels that lies at the heart of many Middle Eastern conflicts. With its whale songs, the hulking white form also brings to mind Moby Dick, the great white whale that has come to signify humanity’s blind ambition to control forces larger than itself, whether in the context of war or the struggle with nature. The work was developed with the support of the late Clare Weiss, curator for the New York City Parks Department, who passed away in January 2010, after a long battle with breast cancer. Rachel Owens is represented in New York City by ZieherSmith Gallery.
Sculptor Rachel Owens created this massive sculpture in honor of the late Clare Weiss, who served as curator of the New York City Parks Department. The sculpture is composed of two replica Hummer shells welded together. Out of the sculpture sounds of whales can be heard which give an extremely eerie feel. Red and white lights, parts of the Hummer, shine their lights every few seconds giving the impression that this sculpture is in reality its own machine.