|Jeff Williams, Tension and Compression, 2011|
Jeff Williams, an Austin artist, is the Texas artist currently participating in Artpace's Artist-in-Residency program. Williams received his MFA from Syracuse University in New York in 2002, and his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio in 1998. In addition to his formal education, he has displayed his work in many galleries throughout the United States as well as abroad.
There is Not Anything Which Returns to Nothing is composed of three photographs, two sculptures, and a video all of which deal with structure and architecture and the materials involved.
When you enter the gallery space, a small flat-screen tv faces you and plays a non-audible video loop. The video displays a CGI mockup of a skylight rotating 360 degrees horizontally. Starting with the external facing finishes of the skylight, the image rotates and reveals the materials and how they are composed to create the final design.
|Jeff Williams, Configuration (Architectural Materials Library), 2011|
Two sculptures placed on the floor take the most attention of the exhibition. The first, Conservation, is a large chunk of excavated rock placed in a plexiglass tub. Within the rock, a piece of fossilized bone can be partially seen near the top. A gentle water mister constantly sprays down which slowly erodes soil. The water is collected and pumped back to the mister to keep the constant flow. This use of water process is often used in artifact excavation because it is one of the least damaging removal methods.
The other sculpture titled Tension and Compression consists of four slabs of concrete balanced upon each other and supported by steel rods anchored to the floor. The slabs are laid out in a cross with the bottom two clearly fractured and bowing just waiting to crumble and fall out from underneath the the top two pieces. This piece appears it designed to fall apart throughout it's time on display. Since I was viewing the sculpture the day after it opened, I could not see any evidence the sculpture was falling apart yet.
Jeff Williams' exhibition is a great experience not to be missed during its brief stay at Artpace. While the photographs and video are static pieces in the exhibition, I am excited to see how the sculptures will change and evolve through their delicate and crumbling existence.