In her recent exhibition, installation artist Ella Kandel explored the boundaries of elasticity using Pilates equipment by Gratz. Through this body of work, Kandel has been investigating the means of breaking free from established patterns, and the possible self-liberation that comes, not from taking action against what constricts us, but rather, from resistance to these opposing forces. Asking whether resistance is as much an agent of transformation as acting is, Kandel sees Pilates apparatuses as both a metaphor and a physical materialization of the phenomenon of action and resistance. Many movements in Pilates, based on motion and simultaneous resistance to that motion, create oppositions. The artist has been especially fascinated by one of the central apparatuses in Pilates called the “Reformer,” which she works with to envision how the human body and consciousness can each Re-form themselves.
Kandel’s installation explored the process of conceptualization as the finished work, inviting the audience to engage more intimately with her investigation. On view were sketches, collages, quotes, journal notes, diagrams, and maquettes serving as proposals for future public sculptures. Gratz Pilate’s element, on display, offered the suggestion of unrealized potential for movement and activation of the body.