Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue?
- Date: September, 2010
- Location: The Stride Gallery, Project Space
- Dimensions: vary
- Medium: robot vacuum cleaners, acrylic tubes, coloured sand, paint
Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue? is an installation that examines the ambivalent relationship I have with colour, by creating an environment for the blending of primary colours through chance. A “cleaning” cycle is staged for the digestion and recreation of colour using sand and robot vacuum cleaners.
Barnett Newman’s paintings of the same name -- created around the time of my birth -- were a challenge to the purist ideology that Piet Mondrian placed upon the primary colours as pure idea, returning them to expressive colour. His question and my response creates the framework around which this installation is built.
The walls and floor are painted black. In the centre of the gallery in a line are three vertical columns or “zips,” that bisect the space and run from the floor to where they are attached to the ceiling. The sand in each column is released onto the black floor through small openings in the base.
At regular intervals the vacuums, which "live" in the space, are emptied into the top of their respective columns to replace what was taken away, but in an impure form, likely a mixture along with whatever debris happened to be on the floor of the gallery. A cycle is established for the digestion and reformation of the colour through the task driven robots.
For the John Luna essay that accompanied the exhibition go to: