Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
500 Sampsonia Way
artist / participant
Working with fiber optic cable, photographs and projectors formed into spider-like sculptures that suspend from the gallery ceiling, Daniel Canogar projects slides onto the dark gallery walls. Fascinated by zero gravity and the experience of weightlessness, Canogar found the fiber optic medium to be perfect for projecting photographic slides of figures and forms that seem to float in a three-dimensional universe while on a two-dimensional wall.
Canogar’s work explores our contemporary journey in search of weightlessness and how our compulsive distancing from Earth has changed us forever. For these installations, he scoured local recycling centers around Pittsburgh to find metallic scrap for the installation. Canogar was drawn to the sculptural quality of the waste and also for its particular significance to Pittsburgh—a monument to the city’s great industrial past.
Canogar’s work reminds us of our place in the larger universe, and our responsibility to the planet. The works mean to connect literally and figuratively—engaging these connections through the photographic process. He invited Mattress Factory staff members, their families and friends, and an even larger network of participants—local dancers and acrobats—to be models in a photo shoot, hanging from harnesses.
In the first installation, the single fiber optic projector sits high in the small space, with cables cascading down, tethered and then projecting on the wall—24 images of figures from 24 tentacles. The figures look weightless wrapped in scrap metal. The whole ensemble of images seems as if pulled together by some strange gravitational force. It is a cluster of bodies and junk pulled together.
In the second installation, the work has exploded. The fiber optic cables snake through the floating scrap metal so that projections cast on the wall hit people’s bodies when walking through space. The gravitational pull in the first installation has let loose, and now there is a sense of an expansion of all of this—creating a virtual expansion of the actual room.
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