Siren Heart


SIREN HEART (1986)
38"h x 42"w x 16"d, 48 lbs. (95 x 107 x 41 cm,22 kilos).

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“Siren Heart” senses sound, light, temperature and the movement of people around it.  It is a large, assembled, wall-hung sculpture including a World War II air raid
siren (rarely goes off), three hairblowers, an electric knife cutting on bone, hair curlers, telephone (it works!), house slippers, beads, clock, bicycle pump, unidentifiable implement, sun glasses, cigarettes, electric meters, switches, rubberglove, lavender, strap and other objects inspired by love and its consequences. All its functions are controlled by a fancifully drawn red heart-shaped circuit board with blinkling red, yellow, and green LEDs displaying its continuous electronic operations. The artwork senses ambient temperature, light, sounds (usually conversation) and the movement of warm bodies (via an infra-red motion detector).

This heart is not only about the saccharine sentiment that the valentine shape has come to represent: It touches upon more painful aspects of relationships of the heart. Those of family ties and conjugal consequences which are often blind and bitter, fraught with destructive deadlocks and startling crises. It is a sculpture with autobiographical content, done for personal reasons and until now has remained in the artist's collection.  It has been exhibited only twice, in a 1986 alumni show at Wayne State University and 1987 solo exhibit in Detroit at the infamous Willis Gallery.

Jim Pallas 2003

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