Temple and Garden 1985

Jim Hirschfield
Jim Hirschfield: January 12 – 24, 1985
drywall, paint, monofilament, incandescent light

You take off your shoes ascend stairs through a doorway and walk around a fifty-foot rectangular pool recessed into the floor The watery surface...


You take off your shoes, ascend stairs through a doorway, and walk around a fifty-foot rectangular pool recessed into the floor. The watery surface is made of two planes of sheer monofilament fiber tightly strung at close, regular intervals. Indirect lighting is dimly reflected in the fibers. A balcony at the top of a railless staircase at the far end of the gallery offers a longer view.

A smaller room holds a translucent blue-green column, joining the ceiling to a sunken area in the floor. Each of the four faces is made in the same way as the meditative pool. At the corners, the monofilament forms a glassy sheet.

Artist Statement

I’ve been using monofilaments to investigate the phenomenon that results from the creation of ephemeral planes that pass through, divide, and ultimately become an integral aspect of the space in which they exist.

My explorations into ephemeral planes and atmospheres have led to the creation of “spaces of sanctuary.” Combining traditional building materials and monofilament, I am constructing spaces that are designed to control the viewer’s experience. Participants enter my installations and move through carefully orchestrated moments that culminate in an environment of atmospheric ambiguity and light.

About the Artist

Jim Hirschfield holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from the University of Oregon. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.