Press Releases

Sarah Kabot: Unfolding Space

For Release: January 2011

Sarah Kabot: Unfolding Space
On View at the Akron Art Museum February 12 – June 11, 2011

Akron, Ohio, January 26, 2011 — Cleveland artist Sarah Kabot creates installations that toy with human perception. “[My work] encourages the viewer to question his or her own perceptions,” says Kabot. “The meaning, significance, and even location of objects are not fixed. Potentially, everything could be different.”
And different is exactly what the Isroff Gallery will be when the Akron Art Museum presents Sarah Kabot: Unfolding Space from February 12 – June 11, 2011. To achieve what she refers to as an “intervention,” Kabot will use foamcore to replicate the lights, floorboards and wall surfaces of the gallery for the exhibition. She will then use the paper replicas to reconfigure the space in an attempt to alter the viewer’s perception…“By design, the objects I choose to recreate are intended to go unnoticed,” says Kabot.“Through re-creation, I draw viewers’ attention to the size and contour of the object and to details like buttons and screws. The things I create become almost like caricatures of the manufactured object—exaggerations or simplifications occur inadvertently, and they create a provocative relationship between the original and the reproduction.”
“In our current age of mass production and standardization, we take much of our interior surroundings for granted,” says Curator of Exhibitions Ellen Rudolph. “We rarely study the physical characteristics of a light fixture, exit sign or urinal. Yet we might take notice if one of these objects were slightly off-kilter or non-standard, and that’s exactly the purpose of Sarah’s re-creations – to make the viewer notice.”
Spatial logic is a core thought process for Kabot. Much like M.C. Escher did on a two-dimensional surface, Kabot will create an interplay between the flat and dimensional, so that the floor will climb up the walls and into the space of the gallery in the form of steps. “In this installation I achieve a new level of complexity,” says Kabot. “I was inspired by M.C. Escher, and in thinking about Escher’s work in relation to my own, I was particularly interested in the tessellations. In those works a clear system both determines and unifies the whole. At the same time, each individual unit affects its neighbor, so although there appears to be a pattern, the pattern is made of unique parts. Similarly, in my AAM installation, different vignettes unfold as the viewer moves through the space.”
The intermingling of the floor, walls and ceiling is intended to reorient the viewer within the space. Kabot will also play with what she refers to as the “pace” of the room; some areas will be densely clustered with light fixtures or steps, while other areas will be open and airy.
Kabot hopes that we will come away from her intervention with a new eye toward envisioning similar deviations in other places.
About the Artist
Sarah Kabot received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2002 and her BFA from the University of Michigan in 1998. She was awarded the Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist Grant and had a solo exhibition at MOCA Cleveland in 2006. Among numerous residencies, she was granted a 2009 residency at Sculpture Space in Utica, NY and at Dieu Donne Papermill in New York, NY.  She received a West Prize Exhibition, West Collection, Oaks, PA in 2010. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States. Kabot is an assistant professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
This exhibition is made possible by generous support from Harris • Stanton Gallery and Fran and Jules Belkin.

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