Melanie Fischer’s installation in her Sackett Street studio was another really cool thing I stumbled into during last weekends AGHAST open studios around the Gowanus.
The old wooden steps leading up to her studio were lined with cartoonish blades of grass sculpted out of fabric. They led up to her sun filled space which was filled with more sculpted grass on the floor. On the walls were more delicate assembled artworks made out of fabrics, paper and sewing findings. It all came to togther to create a contemporary “Eden”.
I liked it because it reminded me of a combination H.R Puffinstuff, The Banana Splits and Pee Wee's Playhouse but done with a bit more sensitivity! Melanie’s artist statement says that this installation is a response to our times retreat from the reality of life (the war, global warming, Dafur, homelessness etc.) into our ipods and virtual experiences. Her response to our escapist culture is to create another type of escape. A natural retreat that uses materials that wouldn’t exist without technology such as Astroturf and to use the materials to create an actual experience.
Hence the swing! Melanie invited visitors to try the swing in the space. So I did! I want one! Check out my really short camera video.
Anyway, the experience of walking into Melanie's studio did take me to another reality. It wasn't just paintings on the wall. The combination and integration of the natural light,the psychedelic sculpture and finely made art pieces took you to another place without any USB ports involved.
P.S-Melanie told me the building her studio is in will most likely be torn down. Will the Aghast open studios tour lose artists due to condo development in the upcoming years? Seems like it but I hope not.