Exhibit depicts common objects with uncommon applications

Feb. 16, 2015

Rachel Librach
rlibrach@uccs.edu

One of the worst realizations in life is how much we take for granted. Our eyes tend to glaze over everyday objects, failing to recognize the immense impact these common items have in our lives.

The art exhibit, “Échafaudages/ Temporary Frameworks”, features José Luis Torres, an Argentinean artist who uses ordinary objects to reveal underlying themes in culture and human connections.

“Everyday items are universal, but in each region they have their [own] unique characteristics. For example in [America], cardboard bundles are a symbol of the economy and trade,” Torres said.

“In Argentina, people use bundles of cardboard as materials for the construction of homes and everyday items for survival. The materials are the same, but the ways people interact with them are different,” he said.

Daisy McConnell, GOCA director, invited Torres to UCCS in hopes that he could create a sculpture in response to the recent fires and floods in Colorado Springs.

To obtain his materials, McConnell drove Torres around Colorado Springs in search of items for his sculptures. She described that the process for procuring most of the materials involved driving to local thrift stores, construction sites and dumps.

Several people donated materials for Torres’ sculptures and volunteered their time to aid in the construction. Torres draws inspiration from not only the cultural interactions between objects and humans, but also the locals’ positive reactions toward his art.

“People [at the recycling centers] were so helpful finding materials they could donate and contribute toward my work,” Torres said. “As soon as they got an idea of what I was going for, they were eager to present more items to me saying, ‘Well how about this? What do you think? Here, look at this one.’”

In the center of the exhibition room hangs a pallet that has been covered with glass pieces and reflects light all around the room, similar to a disco ball.

This piece represents Torres’ method of using a common item and recycling it, so the pallet comes to represent something more than its original use.

Underneath the disco pallet lies a deep red carpet, surrounded by half a dozen large cardboard bundles and stacks of pallets. The carpet’s appeal contrasts with the roughage that surrounds it.

Two of the four walls are decorated with an assortment of mattresses taken from recycling plants, some stripped down to the springs, others with tattered bits of mattress still clinging on and some fully intact.

By exposing the mattresses, Torres draws attention to the intricate layers of such a simple and everyday object that most tend to overlook.

“Torres’ goal whenever he constructs a sculpture whether indoor, outdoor, temporary, or permanent, is to inspire young people to try looking at life in different ways, to explore the world around them and form connections in unexpected ways,” McConnell said.

“Échafaudages/ Temporary Frameworks” can be visited through March 21, Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. in Centennial Hall 201.