Paul Stout

In Curly Putman's classic country ballad "Green Green Grass of Home," "grass" serves as an emotional catalyst for youthful memories in the mind of a soon to be executed criminal. In Paul Stout's recent installation at Suyama Space, grass is eerily imitated using modern technologies and becomes anything but the familiar stuff of memory. Twenty units housing electronic and mechanical systems are hidden inside what appear to be amorphous mounds of red clay atop a bevy of small, slightly menacing looking black lacquer Victorian tables. Stout's clay, taken from a contaminated superfund site in Utah, gives birth to blades of steel grass that unfurl at random intervals and at faster than normal speed. Their continuous, shuddering ascent and descent (inspired by slow- and fast-motion film) suggests the spiritual rebirth of one whose roots are literally grounded in dubious soil. In "Green Green Grass of Home," Tom Jones croons that whether striding atop it, or lying buried beneath he'll touch his beloved grass again. Stout permits his audience to vicariously experience life in the fast lane while simultaneously witnessing eternal resurrection. Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave., 206-256-0809, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Ends Aug. 26.

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