September 15 - September 30, 2006
Reception: Friday, September 15, 6:00-8:30pm
Project 4 is proud to present Soft Sites, a site specific installation of white Lycra by artist Alex Gutierrez. The stretched fabric will cover the entire gallery and explores both the human body’s dynamics in an architectural space and how form and mechanics can influence perception and behavior. Gutierrez’ Lycra structures are enclosures that have an accessible interior - a sort of ’bodyscape’ architecture, as Gutierrez calls it - that is both prison-like and protective. The manipulated Lycra shapes combine strength and complexity with a simple form that has the fragility and permeability of a membrane.
Gutierrez says, “Lycra is basically a stretchy material, a synthetic fiber generically known as spandex that was invented by a chemist at DuPont in 1959. When the Lycra I will use at Project 4 is right next to the wall, it’s invisible. But as I stretch it, and it slowly comes off the wall, it takes on a diaphanous shape. The real issue I’m dealing with is boundaries, and how they fluctuate between the opaque and the porous. That’s what attracts me to Lycra, you get a real range within the same material. Because no fiber or thread ever really stands still, there is a constant tension in the work. But Lycra’s tactile quality also creates a feeling of calm and comfort. People’s reaction to the Lycra sculptures - whether they are open to it, or keep their distance, or are simply apprehensive - parallels, in my opinion, relationships they would normally have with other people.”
Alex Gutierrez was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1974. He received a BA from the University of Maryland and a two year degree from the Art Institute of Florence in Florence, Italy. He is currently a MFA candidate in the Mount Royal school at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Contact: Anne Surak, Director
903 U Street NW Washington DC 20001
tel: 202 232 4340 fax: 202 232 4341
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 2:00 - 6:00 pm, Saturday noon - 6:00 pm and by appointment.
Project 4 is easily accessible by metro. We are located one block east of the green line U St/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo metro station, 10th Street exit.