AIRPLANE is proud to open our autumn season with a solo show of sculptor Timothy Belknap. His animatronic sculptures sometimes gyrate, sometimes dance, sometimes breathe and sometimes beat the shit out of each other. He makes cakes out of fireworks. The buttons he’s collected from his grandmother, mother and friends are painstakingly arranged based on stains from the sidewalk near his studio.
In his art the mechanics are laid bare; it is clear how these things are made, but they are strange and eerily emotive, and how they move or might move is unsettling. The centerpiece of this exhibition is a group of 3 marionettes animated by strings to perform a quirky synchronized dance. As the gallery viewers interact with switches and sensors located throughout the gallery, the dance turns violent and unpredictable. Other works in the show include a mechanized pair of dancing skeletal legs, a collection of pseudo-birthday cakes made out of arranged fireworks and displayed on glass stands, and several large fabric pieces displayed on the wall in a way that amplifies the weight of the buttons and the distortion of the stitch work. These fabric pieces, derived from stain patterns discovered on the sidewalks of Philadelphia, are hand stitched and are evocative of quilts, early sewing samplers and geography.
Timothy Belknap was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio in 1976. He now lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and loves it.