TONY STANZIONE: COLD STORAGE
PRESS RELEASE / WINTER 2004-2005
Chance played a large role in Tony Stanzione's second installation for the outdoor project space. "I was wondering what I could do with the elements back there," he said, adding that his interest in renewable energy had led him to a windmill, among other possibilities. "I thought of the time period when it would be installed, and I finally had this vision of these ice flows hanging off bunk beds," he said. "My mind was blown when it actually worked." More than any other project created for the outdoor space, Cold Storage gave the single variable in the seemingly gallery-like enclosure, the elements, an active formal role in the final work. Made from a steel frame custom fabricated by the artist, tiers of six penitentiary-style beds rose in the middle of the space. A pillow crafted from molded ice rested on each, and a self- heating piping system sent a trickle of water up each of the supporting legs. On the night of the opening, the temperature had not dropped below freezing, and the stark, minimal frame stood inert in the courtyard. But on the first truly cold evening of that winter, Stanzione got late-evening call from the gallery saying that the trickle of water had frozen into an abstract shroud of icicles surrounding the beds. A loaded image to be sure, it evokes strings of political, economic, scientific, and alchemical references—in the month following the 2004 presidential election, reading the piece as a military barrack seemed unavoidable—but Stanzione prefers that it remain overdetermined, a highly associative form shaped in part by the natural conditions of its site.