Cloud Portico is part of a larger public commission for a primary school in Lugnet, Stockholm. For this installation, the ceiling of the school’s entrance portico has been wreathed in clouds that appear to have descended directly through the roof. These sculptural clouds form an elevated scenic backdrop, like the many-layered theatrical border curtains that hang above a stage. The sides of the clouds glow white, but their billowing, mirrored undersides reflect the visitors’ movements through the entryway. On entering the school, these clouds can be viewed as symbols of knowledge acquisition: as they expand, they widen the field we can’t see, just as the more knowledge we accumulate, the better we can observe further questions looming on the horizon. For a long time, the cloud itself escaped all categorization; but in a seminal 1802 paper, “Essay on the Modifications of Clouds,” the American pharmacist Luke Howard proposed the major taxonomic categories for clouds, which are still in use today. This endeavor to establish precise descriptions of ever-changing atmospheric forms suggests a comic side to humanity’s search for knowledge—a zealous ambition that the cloud watcher, flat on her back on a warm summer day, might laugh out loud at.
"Cloud Portico," 2014
Stainless-steel mirrors, acrylic, aluminum, LED tubes, dimensions variable