Icelandic sculptor to guide visitors through outdoor exhibit
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A sculptor from Iceland will be at a Louisiana college in the upcoming week to guide visitors through her outdoor sculpture series called Borders.
Eleven pairs of life-sized androgynous human figures were installed around Centenary College in Shreveport in early October. They’ll remain through the school year.
Sculptor Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir (STAY-nin THOHR-ihr-inz-DAH-tihr) will be at Centenary on Friday, Oct. 19, leading a free artist’s walk at 5 p.m. Members of Friends of the Meadows, a group which supports the college’s art museum, can attend a party afterward.
The figures are naked, earless, and have their eyes closed. Each pair includes one figure of cast iron and one of cast aluminum.
“These figures form a border where the viewer can cross,” Thórarinsdóttir says in a video on her website, made when Borders debuted in 2011 outside the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Because the sculptures are life-sized and neutral, viewers can “interact, touch, and identify themselves with the sculptures,” she said in an artist’s statement included in a news release from Centenary.
Until July, the sculptures were installed along a Baton Rouge levee. While they were being packed up for the move to Shreveport, a 400-pound iron statue, cast in a seated posture and bolted to a bench near a bike path, turned out to be missing. Police said it was found in a parking lot after someone called Crimestoppers.
Centenary, founded in 1825, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
The exhibit is the second in the Meadows Outdoors sculpture series sponsored by the school’s Meadows Museum of Art.
“I am very proud to host these sculptures on our campus,” museum director Sean FitzGibbons said. “Especially with the dividing lines that are being created in our world today, sometimes art can illustrate the notion that we are all the same. Borders’ twenty-two sculptures installed throughout Centenary’s campus will challenge students and visitors to consider their own borders and hopefully break down personal barriers.”