The Most Dangerous Have Something To Prove, But Don’t Know What That Is
Anne Bryan Gallery
at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Tonka trucks, masonite, wood, paper, mason string, steel wire, video projection, DC motors
8’ x 7’ x 7’
An installation by Matthew Stemler at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Anne Bryan Gallery. The work presents a correlation between two subjects: yellow jackets and toys of earth moving and construction equipment. Yellow jackets are alarming creatures, colored yellow and black to signify danger. Here, however, they are slow and bumbling. The installation considers the way bees appropriate spaces in their construction in contrast to the way we generally approach building and inhabiting by clearing first.
As toys, the trucks are disarming objects. In this work, however, as one walks down the steps, a sensor is triggered and they jolt into aggressive movement. They are tied to a stake, which for the artist, evokes memories of learning in a garden and when his grandfather would tie string between two stakes to create perfect rows for planting. In the piece, the stake connects the trucks which are held back from their rampage making it the right metaphor for advice and caution the artist gave to his own sons, “The most dangerous people have something to prove, but don’t know what that is.”