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Are We Here

Kevin Callaghan

Reference

SAS0100_009

Year

Are We Here

Dimensions (cm)

Height: 4600
Length: 1100
Depth: 800

Materials

Stainless Steel

Suitable Locations for the Work

  • Indoors
  • Outdoors
  • Freestanding

About the Artwork

Five is the foundational integer of this towering stainless steel sculpture, starting with a pentagonal plinth energetically tilted to one side, narrowing to a point midway where an explosion of five-sided shapes proliferate and seem to climb atop one another. Are We Here thus blooms from the constraint of set parameters - a single base, a building block of five sided shapes - into a teeming, rhizomatic cluster ecstatically reaching for the sky.

Background, history, commissioner of the work

Created for Sky Art's series 'Landmark' 2021.

Thematic/contextual information

Inspired in part by the utopian philosophy of Ernst Bloch, the distinct registers in Are We Here - the black plinth contrasted with the profusion of blue pentagons above - echo the universe's trajectory from its primordial beginnings to its utopian end point. Bloch conceived this transition as one driven by our "hunger" for that which is not-yet-become, but which does not exist as a concrete possibility that we might will into existence. Indeed, a palpable hunger for a place that exists in potentia appears to drive the upward thrust of Are We Here: This hunger reaches a fever pitch. The artist spurs us to ask the titular question, "Are we here?". It's a question that suggests we are on a journey, and, in addition to hunger for our destination, conjures hope - for real freedom and space to realize our multitude of potentialities. If "here" is not yet utopia, it is at least a space where we might imagine, hope for, and build our future.

Artist Website