Outlooks - Elaine Cameron-Weir Storm King Art Center
  • Elaine Cameron-Weir at the Storm King Art Center thumb
  • Elaine Cameron-Weir at the Storm King Art Center thumb
  • Elaine Cameron-Weir at the Storm King Art Center thumb

MAY 19 – NOVEMBER 25, 2018

Elaine Cameron-Weir’s work, titled A toothless grin. A STAR EXPANSION! GLOBE OF DEATH A graveyard orbit, is the result of both associative thinkingand a research-driven artistic process. Her project for Storm King Art Center is inspired by the hollow spherical cages used for trick motorcycle riding—so-called globes of death. At twenty feet in diameter, and surrounded by wide fields, Cameron-Weir’s steel sphere also resembles other real and imagined structures of the present and extrapolated future, such as radio transmission towers, satellites, and other large-scale devices related to space exploration and scientific inquiry. The sphere is accompanied by a small, white military-style shelter from which a soldier might keep watch. Both the sphere and the shelter were designed to accommodate a person or people: several stunt riders can simultaneously circle each other within the tight inner orbit of the sphere, and the shelter, which fits into the bed of a pick-up truck, can house a reclining figure. While each element suggests a kind of real-world functionality, when viewed in the context of Storm King’s collection they also ask to be seen for their similarity to large-scale abstract sculpture.

In developing this work, Cameron-Weir researched a variety of materials, including those related to Storm King’s founding; the testimonies given against a Con Edison power plant that was proposed to be built into nearby Storm King Mountain (a fight that lasted from 1962 until 1980); and employee handbooks from the Star Expansion Company, which produced industrial components in nearby Mountainville from the mid-1950s until 1996, and was co-owned during that time by Ralph E. Ogden and his son-in-law, Peter Stern, who together founded Storm King in 1960. Cameron-Weir was inspired to include the phrase “Star Expansion” in the title of her work because she feels it is emblematic of a connection to hypothesized unseen phenomena and the technology being invented to render it visible.

This optimistic, postwar view of the possibilities of science and space exploration was inherent in much of the material surrounding Storm King’s founding, but it sharply contrasted with the post-apocalyptic predictions contained in the testimony people gave against the proposed excavation by Con Edison just a few years later. These were two very different visions for an industrial future, and it is this intersection of the attempted imagining or predicting of a future based on the conditional observations of the present that are ultimately suggested in Cameron-Weir’s project.

Outlooks, now in its sixth year, is an exhibition series that invites one emerging or mid-career artist to engage with Storm King’s landscape and history and create a new, site-specific work to be installed on-site for a single season.

Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir is made possible by generous lead support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Ohnell Charitable Lead Trust.

Support for exhibition-related programming is provided by generous lead support from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts. Support is also provided by Agnes Gund, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation. Artist talks are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Organized by Nora Lawrence, Senior Curator, Storm King Art Center.