Tom Carr

Open, 1991

Tom Carr’s Open is a huge assembly of two identical structures of steel pipes materially representing the passage of an individual, of light, and of air, into transparency. The sculpture’s intention changes with perspective and distance: it speaks of return or of estrangement. According to the light or the season, whole parts of it merge with the environment or contrast with it, the white with the surrounding snow, the dark lines with the leaves, so that the sculpture continuously re-invents itself. Thus, Open heralds the motif of fragments suspended in space, which Tom Carr has been exploring since 2002. 
 

 

Since the nineteen-eighties, Tom Carr has pursued a path characterised by monumental sculptures which focus on the vitality of archetypes: inaugural forms preceding any theory in the moment where the necessity to come to terms with the world leads to their imperious emergence – to divide and to bring up, to articulate, to link and to exceed, to capture or to cross through… The sculptor anticipates the relationship between material and space as a metaphor of the mind which discovers itself.


Open is a huge assembly of two identical structures of steel pipes materializing the passage of an individual, of light, and of air, into transparency. The high central arch encourages the visitor to commit himself. The front view shows the sculpture spreading its wings: an invitation to climb on it. The vertical axis is accentuated in black as an arrow’s movement, because the work has come to life in the project.

 

The observer feels that it will take off immediately, although this is a utopia. Dynamism carries you away. In profile view, however, the sculpture seems clumsy: Open has landed – and makes you feel that it has withdrawn into itself, that there is space left over and overlapping, which makes the observer find his way back into the world’s complexity.


The sculpture’s intention changes with the perspective and the distance; it speaks of return or estrangement, of the ambivalence inherent in life… And in-between these two concepts, the sculpture becomes a playground in the form of a climbing wall for children.


Black, grey and white punctuate the metal structure, breaking up its symmetry and making it breathe. According to the light or the season, whole parts of it merge with the environment, the white with the surrounding snow, the dark lines with the leaves, so that the sculpture continuously re-invents itself, just like a story. It mimics and takes refuge behind itself, offering itself to the landscape in which it takes part. Nature decides, combines or dismantles.

 

Thus, Open announces the motif of fragments suspended in space, which Tom Carr has been exploring since 2002, developing a reflection on the discontinuity of conscience.

Author: Françoise Barbe-Gall 
Plan & Overview: Position 19
Owner: [Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH]
Biography: Tom Carr 

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