Brent Riggs

(EUA, 1955)

The Spirit of Loveliness in Youth

The work consists of a motorized bow and arrow —repeatedly drawing to fire, then relaxing—aiming at a motorized, artificial lung apparatus that is breathing on the opposite wall. A powered speaker on the floor amplifies the sound of breathing, picked up by a small microphone. The title of the piece refers to Cupid.

Before he became a Valentine’s Day card icon, Cupid was the mythic bearer of first love, sometimes referred to as the Spirit of loveliness in youth, and often portrayed in Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical art with a bow and arrow. Like most myths, however, this portrayal has a dark side. While the slow, rhythmic sound of breathing is very relaxing, the idea of being shot with an arrow is none too appealing.

—Brent Riggs

Venue: SOMA Gallery, La Jolla
Organizer: SOMA Gallery