From the beginning of his artistic career, Kurt Wold has looked at bicycle riding a little more closely than the rest of us. What is for most people the simple act of getting from here to there has been conceptually expanded by Wold into a collection of sculptures, photograms (see Man Ray) and musical performances—all using bicycle components.
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Inspired by the works of the Dada artist Duchamp, Wold chooses to "reinvent the bicycle and its permutations as a sort of re-examination of this historically pivotal machine." Not only does Wold "reinvent" the bicycle, but he also creatively blurs the line between the mechanical and art worlds in a way that hasn't been seen since Bernard Hinault crashed his bike into Bruno Bischofberger's Mercedes (note to readers—this did not actually happen . . . but isn't it a funny image?).
"Perpetual Motion" includes several large human-powered sculptures from the series "Dada Rode a Bicycle/MoMA was a Peddler," as well as some 4-foot-by-8-foot photograms from the series "Girl's Bike." Wold puts these grand works together using such obscure artistic substances as graphite, epoxy, chromoly and alloyed aluminum. You know, the kind of stuff your mom told you not to huff when you made your model cars.
The exhibition concludes with a performance of I Dreamt I Could Play the Bicycle, in which Wold and three other artists play "bicycle-related sound sculptures," the result of which is piped through a pumping 7,200-watt, 10-channel sound system surrounding the audience. Pretty impressive, I know . . . but I'd like to see him do some wicked aerials off the ramp in my cousin's front yard.
"Perpetual Motion" and I Dreamt I Could Play the Bicycle at Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-1650. Open Wed.-Sat., noon-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-4 p.m. Through Aug. 13. Free.