Heide Hinrichs

It’s the world’s game, football, played with wads of rags and twine in countries where kids are too poor to buy actual soccer balls. And those balls, in the bad old days, were once hand-sewn by children in Third World sweatshops. But what do you get when you deconstruct a soccer ball—cut the stitching, separate the hexagonal panels, and pull out the bladder? For German artist Heidi Hinrichs (who also divides her time in Seattle), the results can be decorative, useful, or just plain weird. In her show “Rose Belongs to Lotus” (through June 26), a bisected, inside-out ball can look like a bowl or, yes, a lotus flower. Another assemblage, dangling from threads above the floor, is like some colorful sea creature—maybe a jellyfish or coral reef inhabitant. Her material comes from balls of all colors, many with Nike logos, grass stains, scuff marks, and what look to be hand-drawn decorations of their original owners. A group of resewn, inverted balls suggests giant seed pods, or the eggs of aliens waiting to hatch; some are now oblong, instead of round, and the hexagonal pattern makes one think of a bee hive, too. On the floor, black bladders connected by bicycle inner tubes resemble the kelp we might find washed onto our beaches. No longer made of leather, these soccer ball carcasses have been chopped up and reassembled to mimic forms that are almost organic—appropriate for a game that should be played on grass. BRIAN MILLER

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Starts: June 4. Continues through June 27, 2009

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