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Wilding Cran Gallery
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Stephen Neidich at Wilding Cran Gallery


When you walk into Wilding Cran Gallery, a secret motion sensor is tripped, kicking off an 8 minute orchestrated performance. The performers are kinetic sculptural works made from steel and wire, welded into formations that resemble blinds. Each sculpture plays its part in the kinetic dance — the largest one in the room (which resembles vertical blinds and is backlit with an ominous red glow) slowly unfurls across a wall as large cogs and chains direct its motion. Suddenly, a small horizontal blind, backlit with blue starts to slowly raise on an opposing wall. Another — lit in yellow — is hinged so that when activated it appears as if someone is pulling two slats of the blinds apart to subtly peer through.

All of this dancing metal makes noise too. A raucous soundtrack that plays in surround as each work takes its turn animating, each backlit glow casting shadows that play on adjacent walls, heightening the movement. Despite the physical rigor involved in creating these works — bending steel, welding, and problem-solving the machinations of each sculpture — a peaceful and theatrical aura takes over as the blinds carry out their graceful performance, robotically enacting their eight-minute script.

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Photo: Stephen Neidich, “But they should never be buildings,” 2021. Steel blinds, motor box, idlers, roller chain, light, 63 x 36 x 12 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran Gallery.