Rebecca Niederlander
Family tree: Satellites and Eclipses, 2009
Plastic insulated electrical copper wire
36” x 36” x 36”

My studio building is in the midst of my garden. The structure was built when I was pregnant with my daughter and as I watched this amazing tall building being created I couldn’t help but think about the similarity between that and the life being created inside my body. My garden was already a growing entity, adopted when we bought the house, and motivated by the desire to create as much delight as possible. As the studio was built, I became entranced by the plastic-coated electrical copper wire that runs through the electrical freeways in the walls and began making suspended sculptures and mobiles from the same wire.

Suspended works have an indeterminate quality, and mobile in particular have a lack of manageability. In 1946 John-Paul Sartre writing about Alexander Calder's mobiles, noted that they are "sensitive symbols of Nature, of that profligate Nature which squanders pollen while unloosing a flight of a thousand butterflies; of that inscrutable Nature which refuses to reveal to us whether it is a blind succession of causes and effects, or the timid, hesitant, groping development of an idea." Starting from a place of equilibrium, they are constantly capable of becoming something else entirely, something not planned for. As such, a mobile is a straightforward placeholder for the experience of parenthood. With the birth of my daughter, life has certainly become something else entirely. The idea of family/trees, branching out, rootedness, all these double entendres, have come to have a new, deep and glorious meaning. Additionally, some of the works are also pull-toys and my on-site tester gleefully tells me her favorites.

Rebecca Niederlander