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Bubble Gallery

Tableaux for the Future 

Bubble Text

Photos: Sally Curcio

© Sally Curcio

Tableaux for the Future

In our current global moment of pandemic, war, and climate crisis, expressing notions of optimism may be considered radical. Yet, I believe that to think creatively about solutions to these and other large-scale problems, we must give ourselves permission to imagine possible worlds, worlds that explore new systems based on science, design, cooperation and tolerance. These imagined worlds can function as catalysts for action and change. In Tableaux for the Future, I strive to present imagined worlds that are integrated, organic, diverse, connected, symbiotic, inventive and progressive.

My sculptural installations aim to elicit a sense of optimism and possibility through form, color, and mode of display. The work subverts the symbolic order by

repurposing everyday forms and objects, allowing us to see the familiar as new, and thereby awakening us to what may be possible to formulate a better, more beautiful, more universally connected order.

The exhibition Tableaux for the Future provides four different tableaux titled Factory/Science Lab, Miracle Mile, Space Station, and Megalopolis. They inform one

another yet have their own visual logic and themes that suggest the opportunity to create “possible worlds.”


The tableaux are installed on large white painted display surfaces, supported by sawhorses or pedestals. From a distance, they are experienced as a gestalt, resolving at first into scale model representations of habitable worlds. At closer range, their individual elements begin to be discernable at a 1:1 scale. Viewers can pick out objects similar to those they might have in their homes; cups, sponges, bottle caps, hair curlers, as well as other more enigmatic found objects: small domes, chemistry glass, fabric, and even elements repurposed from my previous work.

The repurposing, re-contextualizing, and scale shifts of everyday objects in the work impact how the viewer sees and interprets the world. There is a perceived change in meaning of these objects that undermines the symbolic order to elicit a sense of play from the viewer. Everyday objects move beyond functional fixedness to be viewed as elements that construct new worlds.

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