Thursday, August 21, 2008
"This vortex-shaped, temporary outdoor installation at Materials & Applications in Los Angeles warped the flow of space with a featherweight rendition of a celestial black hole. Hovering over M&A's courtyard, Maximilian's Schell was a spectacle the size of an apartment building constructed in tinted Mylar resembling stained glass. The piece functioned as a shade structure, swirling overhead for the entire summer of 2005. The interior of this immersive experimental installation created a beckoning outdoor room for social interaction and contemplation by changing the space, color, and sound of the M&A courtyard gallery. During the day as the sun passed overhead, the canopy cast colored fractal light patterns onto the ground. When standing in the center or "singularity" of the piece and gazing upward, the visitor could see only infinite sky. In the evening when viewed from the exterior, the vortex glowed warmly while both obscuring and allowing glimpses of the building behind it. The assembly paid homage to a character played by actor Maximilian Schell in Disney Studio's forgotten sci-fi adventure The Black Hole. Dr. Reinhardt is a visionary tyrant on a monomaniacal quest to harness the "power of the vortex" and possess "the great truth of the unknown."