Construction #1

We are a state obsessed with building—its causes and effects, its political, economic, social, and aesthetic ramifications—from the tangible effects of new condos, office parks, highways, to the goals of open land preservation, affordable housing, civic space, and on to the more mundane, but necessary issues of potholes, construction noise, and waste.

Constructions, the current exhibit at the Gibbs Gallery at the Arlington Center for the Arts, explores the concept of constructions real and imagined, in visual form. Curated by artist, educator and writer Mary Sherman, the exhibit features the work of 39 artists.

A common element in construction is noise, which is captured by Ean White’s sound piece, “Construction #1,” which features a balloon expanding and contracting to the noise of heavy construction—something anyone attempting to get from Haymarket to the North End will surely appreciate. The piece is deafening in an indoor setting, which leads you to ponder the cumulative effect of everyday noise we encounter outside on a daily basis.

The events of the past week in New York and Washington have reminded us that no construction is permanent, and the power and wonder of cities are in fact the creations of the many people who live, dream, build and work there. This exhibit, viewed within that context, makes a person pause and cherish the vibrant life and beauty that surrounds us all on a daily basis.


–Lauren O’Neal, The Arlington Advocate, 9/20/01