Vibrating Forest. (From the Fireworks Series). 1982
Ikon is an art museum situated in central Birmingham, two hours by train from Leeds. In 1978 Dennis Oppenheim was invited to do a piece specifically for the space, to be constructed using local talent in metalwork, local schools and accessible materials. After sending plans and drawing drawings he arrived in Birmingham to oversee the construction and installation of Vibrating Forest. After being shown in five museums, including PS1 MOMA in 2008, Vibrating Forest returned to the UK for the current show at the Henry Moore Institute.
In a review in Art Monthly, Robert Ayers wrote: "'Vibrating Forest' is no less enquiring than anything Dennis Oppenheim has produced in the last decade. His principal concern remains the meaning , the armature, the framework upon which art-making exists.... Oppenheim prefers to consider the basic forces that drive him, and hope to find a kind of art-making in which those forces can continue to be active....
The factories are, then, not only occasions for thought but metaphorical illustrations of it: ideas occur, are refined, and then passed on. Or they might be thought of a metaphors for language, as simple subject-verb-object sentences, something acting on something else. Or, perhaps most particularly, they might be thought to stand in for the art-making process."
Art Monthly, May 1982, pp. 17-19
Photo: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK