Michael E. Smith (b. 1977, American) animates and transforms everyday objects through careful manipulations and arrangements. Subtle juxtapositions, removals, misuses, and degradations render even the most common things unfamiliar. Reproducing and recasting objects sourced from the products of American industry, Smith jettisons the anonymity of these mass-produced goods to endow his sculptures with singular and uncanny qualities.
For this presentation, Smith exhibits two new pieces that draw out the ephemeral aspects of his work. Both untitled, these kinetic sculptures create haunting effects through their use of intangible materials. A fog machine releases a cloud into a crumpled black sweatshirt, momentarily bringing it to life before the mist disperses into the room. In the other work, a laser pointer shoots a pulsing beam along the wall, intersecting with a vintage taxidermy macaw. The devices that power the light and smoke within Smith's sculptures are defined through their connection to empty vessels that once housed, or have the potential to house, a living entity. Smith’s sculptures extend from the parameters of the object itself and into the atmosphere of the space.
Organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art.