April 9

Landscape in Transition

MadArt’s Parable of Gravity is a must-see exhibition.

Seattle-based kinetic sculptor Casey Curran has a story to tell you. His Parable of Gravity meshes mythology, science, and religion into an experience that’s meant to spark conversation and ideas about humanity’s goals and our vision for the planet we live on.

When you enter the exhibition, you are confronted with a hanging figure made of the same material that you’ll encounter as you walk further and deeper into this labyrinth-like construction. The exhibit is composed of 20 wooden towers that disintegrate as you approach a larger aluminum sculpture called Anchor of Janus, which is modeled after asteroid Gaspra 951.

Seattle-based kinetic sculptor Casey Curran's hanging figure made of paper hanging in front of labyrinth-like wooden towers.

“I was interested in gravity as a metaphor for the things that weigh us down and cause buildings to collapse. It is the force that pulls things together. It is the thing that turns nebulas into stars, and stars into solar systems,” said Curran.

According to Curran, Anchor of Janus is a synthesis of his spiritual and scientific interest.

“The asteroid has multiple connotations — it’s two sides of the same coin. When we go back into prehistory and think about those times before we were able to produce light at night and what it meant to see the Milky Way splashed against the sky, how couldn’t you think there was something bigger than yourself?

Seattle-based kinetic sculptor Casey Curran's larger aluminum sculpture called Anchor of Janus, which is modeled after asteroid Gaspra 951.

Then when we fast forward to Enlightenment, and we suddenly start peeling apart these deeper secrets of our reality, we discover that no, the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth. This challenged our deepest held assumptions but also caused us to grow.”

In the works for about two years, Parable of Gravity solidified for Curran after a trip to Barcelona, where he stayed in the Gothic Quarter among giant stone structures.

“[These structures] start in one person’s life and end in another’s. These were generational projects, and [it’s an example of] the type of will we have to collectively muster to overcome challenges facing humanity in the coming years.”

Parable of Gravity is on view at MadArt Seattle through April 17. Book a time to explore the exhibit here.

Story by Ethan Chung and photography by James Harnois, courtesy MadArt Seattle.

At The Center

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