Jeff Williams: 17,000 ft2 of Shade
September 29th - October 7th, 2018
RAIR, 7333 Milnor Street, Philadelphia, PA 19136
Press Release: jackhanley.com/news/jeff-williams-17-000-ft2-of-shade-at-rair
Photography by Brad Farwell: jeff-williams.net/project.php?PROJ=014_2018
Drone footage by Lucia Thome and Marie Lorenz
Philadelphia, August 29, 2018 – RAIR is pleased to present 17,000 ft2 of Shade, a site-based project by Jeff Williams. Located within Revolution Recovery – a construction waste recycling facility– Williams’ large scale installation will be the first artwork exhibited in the Metal Bank Superfund site. The artist has included a statement for the project:
The one thing you can’t do is dig. Currently, the Metal Bank Superfund site is between phases, a potential new building for Revolution Recovery and RAIR. But it is in waiting, 17,000 square feet of shade.
The facility is made up of I-beams and angle iron, bolted together in large twenty-foot asterisk formations that repeat along the walls and above, gridding out the ceiling. In written text, an asterisk is a symbol that can stand-in for omitted matter. Within the confines of this facility, it is difficult to avoid thinking about what will eventually be excluded. The ground has received its first phase of remediation and is ready for new concrete, sealing the past in a sepulchral slab.
The asterisk also resembles lines of excavation used in architecture and archeology to frame a site for digging. Thin chromatic lines layout the footprint of a project. Actual lines of excavation will never be drawn at the Metal Bank but through flipping the lines vertically at a ninety-degree angle, strung through the void of open air, the lines of excavation give scale to a space that is difficult to comprehend due to its size – 205 x 84 x 60 feet. Repeated down the length of the facility, the new lines map a volume. The diagonal lineation is suspended in tension and stretches far above the ground. The overlapping acute and obtuse angles optically connect with the ceiling, visually merging rusted steel with neon yellow rope. The lines both delineate and confuse, they are in motion, through their multiple viewpoints in space, marking intersecting and distinct moments in time.