Media Art Magazine - 1984
Sorensen before ‘rubber’
by Chantal Pontbriand
(translated from French to English)
“You’re getting between my art and my art forms”, this could be read on a sign before entering the Saidye Bronfman Center basement in Spring of 1971. The sentence, like the corresponding surroundings, was created by David Sorensen, a young sculptor who very recently showed in a pertinent exhibition: New Sculpture In Montreal.
If the exhibition trend was strongly minimalist, if young sculptors who were presenting, either Andy Dutkewych or Jean-Marie Delavalle, were proceeding in a reasoning that tried to make out of sculpture something else than a monument or an object, the environment created by Sorensen wanted to suggest more than a formal attitude. For his part as well as for the visitor, the sculpture would no longer be presented as a phenomenon with distance, but as a penetratable world with propitious leaning to experimentation. Then in this instance the experience wouldn’t end with the artist who produces the work but would prolong it and even start at the moment when the work is seen and felt by other people. There everything becomes real. The work becomes tangible as far as it is understood and felt.
Sorensen, in this environment, takes advantage of the moment when the viewer is face to face with his work in order to present him with a heap of objects, apparently insignificant objects of all shapes, and of various materials. He baffles the viewer who sees himself obliged to learn anew the meaning; to enter these things with a different eye. It is the new primitive eye resurgence; the analysis of the first contact with matter, form, texture, or the play of light.
Ambitious reasoning if there is one, since the generator-author of this piece is far from sure of the reaction of this ‘other’ who will follow him in the experience and who has no doubts. There is, in this kind of experience, a certain amount of unknown data, which articulates randomly according to the personality of the message receiver. In the present case, this message aims at the sensorial perception, and a re-education. Art doesn’t depend anymore on a metaphysical order; instead art is an exploration of the senses; and of the environmental effect upon the senses.
We could think: sport, thrill, or vertigo. Sorensen doesn’t go that far; he asks for a certain participation on the part of the person who ‘sees’ his work; he asks this person to make the most of the proposed experience. It is a matter then to interpose oneself with him in the heart of the sculpture, to create the action that makes it live and become real.
The form proposed by Sorensen is free and the visitor can translate it according to his own will, the artist leaving him the possibility to reformulate his proposition in numerous ways. Matter is this way of changing possibility; Sorensen besides has clearly shown his interest for this quality of the matter with his series of sculptures Growth, which he made a few years ago. At the time, Sorensen alone interposed himself in front of the matter. Today, he wants to share the experience with others. And the whole becomes a play. He seems to see in this reasoning a way to recuperate art. Aesthetic and practice come in a vital continuum.
In this line of spirit, Sorensen has therefore prepared an exhibition for Vehicule. This show “RUBBER” won’t happen if you are not present and participating. Go ahead without fear, even though you have never been prepared in the prerequisite school. The experience will be rich and pleasing. Art is nothing if it is not fun..
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