The site at Ragdale presents a beautiful relationship between the natural and the man made. From the native prairie and woods to the manicured evergreens and placed columns with fruit atop there is a dynamic compositional relationship between elements. Framing Figures merges qualities of the wild with the synthetic through using recognizable shapes that become intriguing through their orientation, material buildup, and organization across the site. The figures frame the stage similar to the original topiary flanking the historic stage but shift from such a regimented order to allow for improvisation of arranging performers and the catching of different views and experiences as one moves around the site. They hover near the performers to become additional figures in the performance dancing around the edges of the stage. Their titling and directional members charge them with a sense of movement. The sense of pockets between and in allows three simple figures to develop a whole host of condi-tions for people to move between and disappear inside. The space framed between the figures is as important as the figures themselves. The tumbled cubes slightly shift formation as they develop openings which beckon for performers and guests to investi-gate the space around, between, and inside them. These spaces offer spots for a range of performance sizes as well as a place to lie and read for an afternoon. The wood slates use bright colors and a slight wiggle to dance across the simple figures creating a pattern of interference over the original shape. This further allows the perception of the shape to dramatically shift as one moves around the piece. Each face offers a new reading of the shape with some being more tightly streaked to the original form and others beginning to break away and swerve across the frame. The piece is one to be experienced in the round rather than as a flat backdrop. A new set of dancing figures to interact with on the gorgeous grounds of Ragdale.
Team: Erich Schachtschneider
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