A Conversation with Charles Ray

March 24, 2011

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"Hinoki," by Charles Ray, 2007.

Artist Charles Ray, joined by noted art historian Bernhard Mendes Burgi, discusses Hinoki, Ray’s monumental sculpture at the Art Institute. He describes the inspiration for the piece as follows: "Ten years ago, while driving up the central coast of California, I spotted a fallen tree in a meadow just off the highway. I was instantly drawn to it. It was not only a beautiful log, but to my eyes, it was perfectly embedded in the meadow where it had fallen decades earlier. Pressure from the weather, insects, ultraviolet radiation, and gravity were evident. Total collapse appeared to be no more than a handful of years away. I was inspired to make a sculpture and studied many other logs, but I realized that I was only interested in this particular one.”

Recorded Thursday, March 24, 2011 at Fullerton Hall, The Art Institute of Chicago.