Soft Stand, At Both Ends
Soft Stand, At Both Ends is a re-staging of a work designed to evade a manageable form. Originally installed as Access Grove, Soft Stand within the trees in Socrates Sculpture Park—and now 8 outdoor months worse for wear—the tangled mass of faded and stained rope that is the heart of Soft Stand, At Both Ends now occupies the scaffolded and unswept back patio at Slag Gallery. Here, Soft Stand has reverted to an uncontrolled pile, flanked on either end of its 400-or-so continuous and coiled feet by a few dirty stanchions making mild effort to corral and give direction to the visceral heap between them. Slumping against the scaffold and trailing over the floor, Soft Stand, At Both Ends suggests an intermediary existence between presentation and storage.
Soft Stand, At Both Ends is part of the ongoing series “Soft Power.” Velvet ropes are gauche signifiers for access and influence, yet as the ropes are stretched and exaggerated from their familiar, smile-like positions, any authority they hold becomes suspect. Formally, Soft Stand, At Both Ends is a drawing tool to mark and measure a human-designed space; metaphorically, it asks us to critically examine the ways in which the structures we build—not just architecture and spaces, but governments, cultural systems, justice systems, and social networks—are undergirded by generational access and structural inequalities.