one art (2006) - Anya Gallaccio

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Weeping cherry tree, bolts, aircraft cable. (Courtesy the artist and SculptureCenter.)

For one art, Gallaccio will fell and disassemble a tree and then reconstruct it with all the engineering required to support it visible. The tree, a weeping cherry killed when contractors erroneously cut its root system, will reach into SculptureCenter's fifty-foot-high clerestory, virtually filling the space with its branches. Viewers will enter the space under its branches and will only be able to apprehend the full tree when standing at the far end of the gallery fifty feet away.

The title of the work is borrowed from an Elizabeth Bishop poem whose subject is loss and the unlikely possibility that we might master it through artful practice. one art is a tree as assisted ready-made, building on the art historical tradition of landscape and grappling with our desire to believe in an untamed nature.

In one art, Gallaccio's aesthetic act is to move the tree from its normal outdoor environment to an urban industrial building adapted as an exhibition space. Yet the process of disassembling and rebuilding the tree transforms it - drawing attention to the extraordinary formal and structural properties of the tree.

-- FROM THE DESCRIPTION FOR THE EXHIBITION OF "ONE ART" AT SCULPTURE CENTER (JANUARY 8- APRIL 3, 2006)