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Möbius Ship | Indianapolis Museum of Art

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Möbius Ship

Möbius Ship

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nationality

American

birth-death

1960-

Creation date

2006

Collection

Contemporary

Materials

wood, plastic, Plexiglas, rope, staples, string, twist ties, glue

Dimensions

104 x 122 x 51 in. (installed)

Currently On View

Location
Anna S. & James P. White Gallery

Credit line

Contemporary Art Society Fund, Koch Contemporary Art Purchase Fund and Purchased with funds provided by Michelle and Perry Griffith

Accession number

2008.247

Echoing the working methods of ship-in-a-bottle hobbyists, Hawkinson created a painstakingly detailed model ship that twists in upon itself, presenting the viewer with a thought-provoking visual conundrum. The title is a witty play on Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, which famously relates the tale of a ship captain’s all-consuming obsession with an elusive white whale. The ambitious and imaginative structure of Hawkinson’s sculpture offers an uncanny visual metaphor for Melville’s epic tale, which is often considered the ultimate American novel.

Möbius Ship also humorously refers to the mathematical concept of the Möbius Strip. Named after a nineteenth-century astronomer and mathematician, the Möbius Strip is a surface that has only one side, and exists as a continuous curve. Its simple yet complex spatial configuration presents a visual puzzle that parallels Hawkinson’s transformation of the mundane materials into something unexpected.

 

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Written by iNKV

June 16, 2011 at 11:39

Posted in Uncategorized

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