Spinning straw into gold
In keeping with this vision, Torchia has constructed an immersive light installation powered solely by the sun. Viewers walking into the dome will find themselves beneath a canopy of thousands of holes drilled into the ceiling, in a pattern that attempts to chart the stars present behind the daytime sky. Lenses placed in the dome’s lower windows throw camera obscura projections onto hand-held screens. The large open space, which appears entirely empty at first, becomes dense with live, inverted images of clouds, trees and wildlife. The natural environment—possibly the region’s most precious asset—is thus brought into the building where its beauty can be seen with magnificent clarity.
This inaugural show of CENTERpieces embodies the possibilities that surround us when we revalue what we see. Our hometown, Philadelphia, was the place that David Lynch once boasted was “the biggest influence in my whole life” (and the inspiration for “Eraserhead”). Today it prospers from culture, which the mayor has recognized by dedicating an office in city hall to Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. Likewise, here, local businesses, government, foundations and organizations can follow the model of the Center for Discovery by working with cultural partners to create transformative sites and form opportunities for art that can be of benefit to everyone in the community.
[Julie Courtney has been an independent curator since 1991 and has presented projects at sites in Philadelphia such as Eastern State Penitentiary and Bartram’s Garden. www.juliecourtneyprojects.com. Jennie Shanker is an artist and teaches at Tyler School of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, and Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. www.jenniershanker.com.]