On Saturday we took a ride up to Dia: Beacon in Beacon, NY. One of the pieces in their collection really did a number on me. I was particular affected by Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider. The bronze giant stalks the seemingly small confines of a naturally lit brick room in the upper south corner of the building. It’s black and bronze, spindly legs precariously and delicately balanced on razor sharp points. It made me feel like I wasn’t sure if it was crouching to pounce or in order to fit into its temporary home. Each one of its slender legs almost touching the surrounding walls.
Being in a room with a 10 foot spider is really unnerving, even when you are fully aware that it isn’t real. You still carry your own personal baggage to the work and apply your feelings to the scenario. For better or worse, I love that someone can make you feel something like that.
Crouching Spider has been on display in Philadelphia as well as San Francisco in outdoor settings. There are many photos online of the work outdoors, and indeed it is a beautiful work outdoors, but none of the photos Ithat ’ve seen seem to have the feeling of menace that I experienced with the spider inside that room.
From Grufnik’s flickr – Crouching Spider – Creative Commons license.