20091223-Shift-sharpened.jpg

What do you see in the Serra?

A little while ago, I wrote a piece on Richard Serra's "Shift," a sculpture located in a field near King City. At the time, the image of the installation I embedded was a bit desaturated and washed out, all wheatish-yellow.

Being a little vain and compulsive, I tend to re-read my stuff a bit too often. So when I heard the other day that Google had updated its GTA satellite/aerial imagery to something a bit more green and summer-like, I was quick to check if the map in my previous post bore the signs of change.

It did, and much for the better.

20091223-Serra-brown-2.jpg

Despite a fear of mining the archives a little too quickly -- it is that time of year, isn't it? -- when I saw this, I couldn't resist.

At first anti-climactic, "Shift" actually shows quite the change. In place of a desaturated yellow, the field now appears a rich green. A seemingly minor detail, as a fan, the new capture is a big deal.

With the soy high, the sculpture now floats in a sea of edamame -- bobbing as a sort of oh-so material signifier in search of an oh-so-elusive meaning.

I know it's awfully cliche, but "Shift" looks like it wants to "connect." Those two shapes -- are they family? -- appear to be on the verge of embrace.

On the other hand, the two slabs also look like a little alligator staring down an eel (just below a green waterline). And is that a great white shark to the south?

In a sort of reversal, and in keeping with its title, "Shift" is very much a product of the viewer's imagination -- at once a concrete intrusion and that strange, immaterial thing that is the line drawn between a star and its constellation.

Perhaps two worms, one a tad shorter than the other, in pursuit of a slimy touch?

This must be a message meant for Mars.

A sister to a crop-circle?

Save me from pretension. What do you see in the Serra?


View Larger Map


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

Artists are transforming a Toronto neighbourhood with colourful works of art

Someone is driving around Toronto in a giant metal rat

The 10 most famous people from Toronto

Someone with a bag on their head has been giving away free art in Toronto

French bookstore reopens at new location in Toronto after nearly shutting down for good

Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre reopening with innovative sound installation

An exhibition all about New York's iconic Studio 54 is coming to Toronto

Toronto's derelict malting silos are now being used for outdoor video screenings