For four decades, a Pomona College alumnus Mowry Baden has been creating kinetic sculptures and public works that challenge the relationship between a viewer and an inanimate piece of art. For Baden, the concept of physical interaction truly trumps the role of visual perception by gratifying more than one sense in a prominent way. The large scale sculpture, which realistically would take actually heading out and seeing it for yourself to really grasp, is described by Baden as a tall vehicle that is powered exertion, consisting of four wall-mounted chambers (toy tents) that Baden can “visit and examine” with the help of the vehicle. Dromedary Mezzanine is in an essence the conceptualized work from the depths of Baden’s imagination. Baden explains, “In this sculpture I am trying to bring two kinds of awareness together that are ordinarily mutually exclusive. One is speculative in the sense of ruminating, pondering or sorting. Browsing in a bookstore would be one example. Recalling a dream would be another. The other kind of awareness is more phenomenological. It happens when we are exerting ourselves. It’s the trance-like state long distance swimmers or runners experience, or the kind of concentration a boater experiences whose outboard won’t start and who continues to pull the starter cord again and again.” For lovers of art, engineering or innovation, Baden’s creation should strike a chord of intrigue. (Kim Johnson)
Pomona College Museum of Art, 330 N. College Ave., Claremont; (909) 621-8283. www.pomona.edu/museum. 5pm-7pm.