Eric Eley: “in theatre”
Suyama Space, Seattle, WA
24 January – 08 April 2011
in theater conveys the geometric landscape of an abstracted battlefield encampment. Overhead, a system of nets, interwoven with strips of fabric breaks up the expanse of the gallery’s interior, while tangled barricades divide the ground-level space. The spare architecture of the installation reflects hand-made defensive strategies employed at the intersection of manpower and technological power.
Video of Installation
SEATTLE TIMES REVIEW by Nancy Worssam
“Review: Suyama Space installation shows the handmade doing battle with the high-tech”
Former Seattle resident Eric Eley’s “in theater” installation at Suyama Space arose from his fascination with handmade battlefield camouflage that was meant to fool sophisticated equipment.
Eric Eley is intrigued by space, perhaps most of all by illusionary space, and that’s what his installation at Suyama Space is all about. His work, “in theater,” creates space through the absence of mass.
The idea for his piece came out of his fascination with aerial photographs of World War II-era European battlefields collected by his airman grandfather. Once Eley’s curiosity was piqued, he sought further information on the camouflage techniques used to protect artillery emplacements. Handmade mesh nets covered in bits of burlap provided just enough structure to deceive the eyes of enemy pilots. They were easily transportable and low-tech, yet they concealed the heavy weapons from fliers who were using the most sophisticated technology of the time. The contradictions led Eley to this installation.