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Bella Feldman - War Toys, Kafka's Carriage

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TRADITION OF MAYHEM - Curated by Marna Hill

September 16 – October 17, 2013

War Toys, Kafka's Carriage
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Bella Feldman, War Toys, Kafka's Carriage
1992-96, cast iron, steel, 28" x 13" x 30"

Artist Statement

War Toys

As a means for creating an unsettling tension in a sculpture, I use shifts and inconsistencies of scale and movement. I produce "anxious objects." It seems to me an approach to content that most expresses the reality of our lives. Humor laces my work; like my ghetto forebears, I need to laugh at the dark.

Since 1992, two series of work, both involving movement and interaction, have occupied me. The first, inspired by the Gulf War and my own concerns, is "War Toys". These are a flock of comic, ferocious, fantastic machines with wheels and clumsy movement. I made them small-ankle to knee high-to give the viewer an opportunity for Olympian detachment. On the other hand, they are pet-size, seductively interesting, and inviting to play with.

These sculptures intend to please and provoke and to address war itself as an ongoing preoccupation. I believe weapons have a seductive appeal to our flawed species…but whatever biological necessity this fascination with aggression has for the species, it has long ago gone obsolete. I hope these constructions can help us face our absurd behavior and create some perspective.