The strategy for transforming an empty art gallery into a sculptural power statement is not simple. And when the Indy visited GOCA 1420 last week, gallery director Daisy McConnell, her staff of student interns, and artist José Luis Torres had just eight days in which to do just that.
Torres, an Argentinian sculptor based in Quebec, Canada, specializes in using unneeded building materials and items thrown away or forgotten (pictured, an example of his work). Échaufadages/Temporary Frameworks, which opens Friday, Feb. 6, will be a large, site-specific installation dedicated to the recent floods and fires Colorado has experienced. (Échafaudages means frameworks in French.)
McConnell has been working with multiple building companies and volunteers in the area who have offered time and materials. Since Torres arrived last week, the two have been driving around town, collecting all the random objects they can.
"We've had many companies and individuals come forward," she says, adding, "One man even has Ikea cabinets he wants to donate."
During our visit, Torres shot pictures of the gallery and looked at the possibility of suspending parts of the piece from the ceiling. The ultimate design was still in the works.
"Once we have materials, we'll have ideas," says McConnell. "Right now, he needs to get to know the space."
After Torres gathers his supplies and forms his strategy, the students will be able to work alongside and assist him with the building process. And McConnell will be there every step of the way.
"He speaks a little English, I speak a little French," she says. "We're going to make it work."