EAF16 Artist Profile: Dmitri Hertz
Taking inspiration from games and their social and political nuances, 2016 Emerging Artist Fellow Dmitri Hertz meditates on objects and forms in transition. “I believe the main aspect of interaction does not come from a system I’ve designed, but rather what is created through the expectations and willingness of each viewer.”
For the artist, games link the time and space in which they originate to the time in which they are played; thus embedded in the origin of the game is a more serious idea of power and politics. But Hertz is also specifically interested in the utility dice have in games. “[Dice] are understood as random number generators, but when you or I play against a loaded pair, the randomness falls short even though the idea of equality is still present.”
Within Socrates Sculpture Park, Hertz has created two large irregularly shaped polygons, both alluding to loaded die, one as reference to swiss cheese, the other a dog. Having worked with the idea of a dice before the artist continues to investigate the form through his project at Socrates. “Dice can dictate chance or have understood directives. I wanted to merge the systematic structure of dice with the skin of other things, such as cheese or a dog, that inherently resemble this dot/number directive.” He likes the dizzying effect that occurs when a viewer first encounters an object that may resemble many things but isn’t really any of them.
“The multifaceted surfaces are numbered, posing the question of how to decrypt an indiscernible answer.” Thinking about the nature and history of sculptures, Hertz’s work deviates from a set position and remains sideless in orientation. “Being placed in a public setting, there is immediacy to the sculptures as objects in the world,” Hertz notes. Because there is no limitation to proximity to the sculptures and no prohibition to touching them, one’s experience can transcend the visual. Indeed, walking around the sculptures can engage the body’s kinesthetic and subtle sense of spatial relationships.