Nature and the industrial entwined at Pop Up Art House

Photo: Marcos Rivera

The Details

Transfigured Lands
Through January 14; Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and by appointment; free
Pop Up Art House, 730 Sunset Road, thepopuparthouse.com

At a private reception at Pop Up Art House where members of the Modern Council have turned out for Mark Baugh-Sasaki’s Transfigured Lands exhibit, guests walk on wooden footbridges crossing creeks of broken pavement. They contemplate Baugh-Sasaki’s sculptural hybrids of the natural and industrial.

When the jazz trio takes a break, gallery owner Shannon Mc Mackin turns the floor over to the artist, a San Francisco-born outdoorsman who came upon the industrial world while studying at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Amid the installation he shares his views about the transformational exchange between nature and industry, and references his industrial river of asphalt at our feet. But in discussing his photos of water currents he tells us, surprisingly, they were born from the idea that “You can’t just cast water. It’s ever-changing.”

Call me thunderstruck, but did someone just scratch the needle across the record?

If anyone could cast water, it’s Baugh-Sasaki, whose “Strange Attraction” steel and rock sculpture on display perfectly mimics the forceful dynamic intensity of currents barreling past rocks. The entire exhibit is the perfectly intuitive melding of nature and industry. Steel rods, welded into sharp points, jut from branches as natural extensions—stark and beautiful.

Canvas-enclosed scaffolding interrupting the asphalt river allows visitors to step inside, where a video projection of a babbling brook flows across a sculpted creek bottom. It’s as if you’ve found a small clearing in a thicket of trees. It’s as if Baugh-Sasaki has cast nature through the industrial. Definitely worth experiencing.

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Kristen Peterson

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