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ARTCAT

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Sarah Oppenheimer, 554-5251

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P.P.O.W Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor, 212-647-1044
Chelsea
September 7 - October 7, 2006
Reception: Thursday, September 7, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site


Sarah Oppenheimer continues to explore the malleability of the constructed environment. Oppenheimer engages with the problem of `mutable architecture’ as explored by the work of architects such as Yona Friedman, Peter Cook/Archigram, and Cedric Price. Rather than create utopian prescribed spaces, Oppenheimer considers the building material as a socially engaged starting point. She begins with the typical 4×8 foot sheet of plywood and by using CNC routing to bend it, she transforms the once contractor cladding into a stable structural support.

Like legos or tinker toys, Oppenheimer’s folded plywood is created in modular form, with the ability to connect and infinitely expand by piecing each one together top and bottom, side to side. In the larger gallery, these angled plywood sheets interlock, enabling the construction of an enclosed tube which will stretch from end to end of the gallery. Each tube intersects the interior gallery, cutting through the periphery walls, providing a tunnel to the private spaces which are regularly out of public view. To repeat the modular use of the material, half the interior of the gallery will be veneered floor to ceiling with plywood in a diamond shaped pattern. Reminiscent of the performative minimal play of Robert Morris, each tube connection gradually grafts the pale wood patterned wall to the stark white of the gallery space resulting in a spatial modular mobius.

In the smaller gallery, large-scale modules and models are presented as photographs. Objects photographed are numerically classified and identically scaled. Like books in a library, differences between forms are reduced to numerical sequences. For example, the title of the installation 554-5251 is the reference number for the tube’s set fold of plywood in this particular installation. By producing multiple models of folds, this system enables a temporal reconfiguration of the production sequence. The photographs act as a lateral expansion of the original concept multiplied to infinity.

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