Oh! that TANTRUM!

by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

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Shooting flames and firing serial explosive bursts, Tantrum circled the grounds of the Art Ark

On Saturday, December 12, Andrew Hedges gave a supportive, albeit wet, audience an entertaining inaugural show of his newest vehicle, Tantrum. Gas, oxygen and acetylene power the functions of this single seat convertible that cavorted nimbly around the grounds of the Art Ark, shooting fire and making startling sounds like a fusillade of gunshots. Red banners, echoing the contours of the panels in the sculpted body of the vehicle flapped in the breeze, possibly implying “caution, gangway!” A brave few boarded for a test ride of what constituted Hedges’ MFA exhibition project. Although this light industrial neighborhood is somewhat inured the sound of gunshots, apparently the police did appear to investigate, found the source of the complaint to be benign enough, enjoyed the “spectacle” and moved on.

Tantrum appears to be hybrid of Mad Max art car, car machismo, alternative fuel vehicle and hissing frill-necked dragon lizard. It is best seen with the inventor himself at the helm, a self-satisfied and slightly demonic grin lighting up his face. Hedges has managed, once again, to combine into sculpture his love of machines that move, make noise and incorporate some sort of naughty if not downright antisocial elements, (his motorized bicycles notwithstanding).

His gas-powered bicycles have been tamer vehicles, with emphasis on the aesthetics of vintage bicycle design, pristine chrome work, immaculate paint jobs and such welcome additions as oversized cargo carriers. Truly an economy ride for the hardy commuter! Nevertheless, the unmuffled putt-putt-putt of their motors draws comments from neighbors, generating gleeful disdain from the rider.

The addition of Tantrum to Hedges’ oeuvre is more along the line of his red, 2007, Object Transformation Machine, a sleek bright red tower that dropped a 40 lb hammer on unfortunate objects placed on its platform, producing an accompanying loud-volume crash. It’s the thrill of bumper car collisions, knocking down your little brother’s house of cards, and waking up your Mom from her naps with a slamming door, and a loud “Mom, I’m home!”, followed by a truly affectionate hug and kiss! Andrew Hedges manages to preserve the pure joy of youthful discovery, invention and ingenuity and, like the Pied Piper marching confidently ahead; he conscripts us into line behind him.

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Andrew Hedges seemed delighted with the inaugural performance of Tantrum

Andrew Hedges announces his next presentation at the Art Ark to be a Valentine event, a group exhibition called Loud and Moving. Kinetic and sound artists will gather with Hedges to make Valentines Day an exuberant celebration. For more info: hedgesindustries@gmail.com

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