Monday, July 28, 2008

Brian Goggin -Help! My Furniture is Escaping!

Since 1997, the building known locally as "The House of Falling Furniture" located at the corner of 6th st. and Howard st. in San Francisco, has been a sculptural mural.

The piece consists of sometimes malshapened tables, chairs, lamps and even a grandfather clock, all hanging precariously out of the building’s windows. Officially named, 'Defenestration’ (a word meaning to throw out of a window) the sculpture’s various pieces are all fastened to the abandoned building to create the illusion of falling. The pieces is the brainchild of local Bay Area artist, Brian Goggin.

"I wanted to get art out of the gallery and out of the museum," said Goggin. "I'm interested in working with absurdity in ways that are compelling and entertaining."

"Each piece of furniture has a steel framework that works inside of the piece and is attached to the side of the building with wood and steel separating it,"
he said. "So if some piece of the building falls in an earthquake, the (art) piece will still stay here."
Brian Goggin
The site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenge and has often endured the stigma of skid row status. Reflecting the harsh experience of many members of the community, the furniture is also of the streets, cast-off and unappreciated. The simple, unpretentious beauty and humanity of these downtrodden objects is reawakened through the action of the piece. The act of "throwing out" becomes an uplifting gesture of release, inviting reflection on the spirit of the people we live with, the objects we encounter, and the places in which we live.

Goggin writes, "For inspiration I look to the unexpected locations or methods of presenting the work, research the place’s history, folklore, its surrounding current and past architecture and/or topography, contextually related materials and objects."

Brian is currently working with artist, Dora Keem, on a site-specific public artwork of a sculpted, illuminated flock of twenty three translucent, suspended open books with bindings positioned as IF THEY are the wings of birds in flight. These books will appear to be taking off and flying above the plaza. The work has been in progress since 2006 and is located on the site of a new public plaza on the NW corner of Broadway (where Grant and Columbus Streets intersect) in San Francisco.
Language of the Birda
Each book referenced by the words in the plaza will have particular significance to the site, the community and the local culture, for example: the Beat artists, Jazz musicians, Italian-American writers, Chinese-American Authors, Bohemian writers and Barbury Coast history, and Burlesque culture.

Goggin has also been working on a sculpture for the Moscone Recreation Center,
1800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, called "Guidepost".

This artwork considers themes from the area: history and evolving human interactions, community, leadership, safety, and recreation.

If you would like to read more about the work of Brian Goggin, please click HERE.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I love that building! It's a bright spot in a not so pretty area and it makes me smile every time I go by it.

Stacy Alexander