On the Edge of Being: A Conversation with Arcangelo Sassolino
by Joshua Reiman
The work you are about to encounter is like no other. Engineered for danger,
Arcangelo Sassolino's sculptural machines explore power relations and conflict
by subjecting materials to extreme force. The realities of physics are employed
to deliver action and transformation. Then comes fear. Sassolino's sculptures
are to be experienced and felt first hand. Your eyes will shutter, your ears will
quake, and the floor will move.
These works reveal a new understanding of what sculpture has become. No longer does material have to be
formed into a representation of something else; instead, pure materials, joined with physical force, can render
an expression directly. Getting closer to an action can get you closer to the truth of a material, while making
you face your capacity and limitations as a viewer--as someone who has feelings, as well as deep-seated
fears and pleasures. Highly engineered and controlled (or not), Sassolino's sculptures resonate long after you
have seen them.
Untitled, 2006–16. Steel and hydraulic
system, dimensions variable.