At Gallery4Culture this month, Sean Patrick Landis has installed a set of partially encased backyard objects: a ladder, a woodpile, a motorcycle, a chair, an ax stuck into a fat stump, a Weber grill, and a circle of bricks. Each object is fitted with a blue nylon skin, which is then stitched to a transparent cube of inflated vinyl. To keep each plastic pillow full of air, seven lines of fat tubing crowd the floor, snaking back to a wooden fence, disappearing into and behind it. These rather masculine suburban artifacts are noisy, their companion pillows kept puffed by what is no doubt an air compressor hidden behind the wooden fence. A loud hum of white noise creates a strangely ominous effect. These rather simple objects have been made electric, in order that their companion sculptures—sometimes strapped to the objects with what looks like kite string—may remain aloft. I was struck by the overwhelming scent of vinyl, reminiscent of kids' pools and inflatable rafts. The fat-bellied Weber grill is somehow iconic, half-encased in plastic. In this exhibit, entitled "Boundaries of Vacancy," well-worn trappings of a suburban lifestyle have been transformed into sculpture, propped up by hidden machines. And the energy used to power these artifacts—like the guttural rumble of a revving motorcycle engine—is loud.
Gallery4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Pl. S., 296-8674, www.4culture.org/publicart/gallery. Ends Dec. 28.