Haptic Whittles – works by Daniel Dennett

press release

EXTENDED through April 2nd

Underdonk is pleased to present the “haptic” sculptures of Daniel Dennett.

Opening February 10th, 5-7pm

February 11th through March 26th, open 1-6pm
Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment

These sculptures, small carved forms meant to be touched and experienced, started with Dennett playing around with firewood.

A secret practice, until now, these works speak to the poetic and methodical mind that made them. Each work is a world in and of itself, though together themes arise: interior spaces, limits, connections and facsimiles.

Even setting aside Dennett’s extensive and influential work in the field of the human mind, we must approach these humble curiosities with a sense of wonder. They betray something of the beauty in the laws within nature, as all forms dictated by rules must grow into being. There is a sensitivity to space and a humanity in scale that is refreshing.

There is time in these works. Time, not just in the making, but also in the grain. Checks and patinas, internal and external signals of their history betray them. They also demand time from the viewer; in their proper setting they invite handling. Only through manipulation do they unfold, showing their logic, humor and care.

In the videos accompanying these works we can begin to see their complexity. As hands hold, open, twist, catch, extend, smooth, bunch, collapse and grasp at the warm wood we are reminded of lovers playing with each others’ hands or children experiencing a new toy. They don’t declare or explain, but relax in the palm, prepared for your exploration.

These works lack a pretense, not made for anyone beyond Dennett’s close friends and family, no goal in mind but their own completion and perfection. They allow magic in, by the way magic always gets in: through hard work and careful planning.

They are a form a play as all good art is.

 

 

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