Dental Tool, 1995
Aluminum, dental tools, steel and wax, 12 X I X I feet.
of Hu-Friedy Corp., New York, New York.
commissioned while still a graduate student to design and build
a gargantuan dental tool sculpture for the Hu-Friedy Corporation,
the world's largest producer of dental tools. Dental Tool,
1995. now hangs at the Hu-Friedy World Headquarters in New York.
This large and dangerous looking sculpture features sharp exterior
hooks and an internal matrix built of hundreds of stainless steel
dental tools. It is something of a dental tool fractal, that is
the large whole is composed of multiple units of the same shape
only smaller Giant cast aluminum hooks adorn each end of the tool.
The handle is composed of hundreds of dental tools welded into wheels
and the into a column that became the stock of the monolithic tooth
cleaning device. At each joint where the individual tools are joined,
sharp hooks pierce pomegranate colored wax. This gives the effect
of dental hooks penetrating and be held together by pink human gums
Hanging from an overhead chain, the piece appears very delicate
given its diaphanous matrix, but the internal skeleton of square
steel tubing is strong. And there is something about this large
sharp object, particularly its shadow, hanging precariously above
ones head that gives a sense of mediaeval torture or of perhaps
the Poe story "The Pit and the Pendulum." This was fully exploited
by Ringsby who used it, and its shadows, to great success and critical
acclaim with his performance at the Art Institute of Chicago, Fear
of the Other 1996.