At the Angle of Repose

At the Angle of Repose
Old wooden furniture, polypropylene granules, loop pin and cable tie
Dimensions variable
Presented at Singapore: Inside Out Sydney

In 2013, Grace Tan presented In the Stillness, a site-specific installation dealing with the notion of heterotopia through the construct of a garden within the walls of a disused elementary school in Shodoshima island, Japan. Through Tan’s intervention, the everyday space of the classroom underwent a transformation, becoming at once a site of tension and an oasis of calm.

In a similar manner for At the Angle of Repose, the in situ arrangement of objects from In the Stillness at Stonemason Building 46-48 evokes a sense of layered narratives and spaces that is ambiguous and temporal. The mound of sediment-like granules within the room bears an intrinsic affinity to the surrounding stone walls that have withstood changes in the passing of time.

Referencing an engineering term for the angle at which sediments can settle on an inclined plane without collapsing, the formation and presence of the heaped pile suggest an element of instability and things in flux. Despite the conical form being a deliberate structure, the very essence of the form alludes to a certain quality of the formless. This formlessness underscores the blurring of boundaries and the tension between the transient and permanent that is unpredictable and uncontrollable.

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Photography by Christian Lam / Zarch Collaboratives