SARAH
ABARBANEL




Sarah Abarbanel is an artist and educator based in the Hudson Valley and is currently an MFA candidate at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College in New York. Her interdisciplinary, research-oriented approach to subject matter includes sculpture, video, sound, and poetry. She is interested in the radical permeability of boundaries that constitute seemingly fixed subjects, and the ways in which trying to research, know, or understand any particular one can productively undermine these same pursuits.







TRANSITIONAL OBJECTS  




mixed media installation, Bard College, 2021

In transitional objects, photographs, projections, and sounds were oriented around or within vitrine-like sculptural display cases. These “tables of contents” corresponded to sections of poetic prose broadly based on the history of the New York Aquarium. The vitrines were installed in the space according to the original architectural plans for this site. Viewers of the installation were invited to touch the printed images and move freely between the constellation of displayed parts.
















  


 

-arium


suffix

forming nouns usually denoting a place.

a place for relating to.













if anyone is familiar with this site it’s had two unapparently












the ocean water came rushing into the aquarium, bypassing the sand and up through the vents and ducts the lower levels filled within minutes in ten to fifteen feet of standing water and dirty chemicals. everything that was out there was coming in and everything that was in here was going stunning


doesn’t dwell here very long stunning doesn’t do that


without container couplet or paragraph you’ll have to fill it up yourself while still wanting more from the fish’s i



click here to read the full text










SPEECH FORMS






Mixed Media Installation, Banff Centre, CA, 2018


Speech forms was an evolving mixed media installation and series of dance performances utilizing sound, gesture, and drawing. Using the studio as a site, I covered the space in vinyl dance flooring and drew a phoneme-inspired map on which the dancers rehearsed. The drawing contains two circles, each of which has forty-four equidistant, color coded points around the circumference. Each point represents one of the forty-four phonetic sounds in American English. The circles’ interiors were filled with sand, a common material used in early childhood classrooms to facilitate multi-sensory learning and memory.
Responding to a diverse series of prompts and spoken scores, the dancers improvised between the corresponding series of speech-points to create sentences. The dancers taught one another new phrases as they moved through an intuitive process of mirroring and repetition.















CMYK






Mixed Media Installation, SHOWROOM, Gowanus 2016
In cmyk, cotton thread was woven across four wooden frames to create four screens: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. When the viewer occupies a specific vantage point in front of these screens, all four align to create one rectangular shape. However, when the viewer moves, the image breaks, and one's attention is called to the four discrete planes it is composed of, as well as the activated moiré where the screens overlap.




























-arium



















































































  



the field of yellow photographs


    



                       

























































their eyes shine like cameras


































































TRANSITIONAL OBJECTS



mixed media installation, Bard College, 2021

In transitional objects, photographs, projections, and sounds were oriented around or within vitrine-like sculptural display cases. These “tables of contents” corresponded to sections of poetic prose broadly based on the history of the New York Aquarium. Viewers were able to manipulate the printed images and move freely between the constellation of displayed parts.

The vitrines were installed in the space according to the original architectural plans for this site when it was housed in Battery Park before being forcibly demolished and relocated to Coney Island. It was here that the aquarium flooded and suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 





   



-arium



suffix

forming nouns usually denoting a place.

 a place for relating to.













if anyone is familiar with this site it’s had two unapparently












the ocean water came rushing into the aquarium, bypassing the sand and up through the vents and ducts the lower levels filled within minutes in ten to fifteen feet of standing water and dirty chemicals. everything that was out there was coming in and everything that was in here was going stunning


doesn’t dwell here very long stunning doesn’t do that


without container couplet or paragraph you’ll have to fill it up yourself while still wanting more from the fish’s i
















the aquarium at the time that it was housed here was the most popular museum in the city by far until robert moses forced it out


all of the glass tanks attached to the perimeter of the stone, obviously


there are very few images left but here’s one

















by the powers vested in robert moses the ornamentation must be removed the white stone busts of singers must be removed the stucco tiling the sheet iron roof 

and what is left?


one innermost ring of impenetrable sandstone core









silent central shapeshift, shapeless, look


on its way out i can already see its ego forming the embryo won’t be present for but helps it form its shape











i took the f train to coney island every saturday. it’s where i learned to turn my camera on and audio in in the space between fish tank and exit sign the visitors paused by to look, up at the fish, i looked where they looked and saw back looking a single stinging eyeball side of a face




i tried to shave some distance off  by looking up the word part -arium to find out what it means










the field of yellow photographs










all of the librarians are going home now. but she likes her job at the research library and she likes walking home across the park and again each morning.



heaps of black and white aquarium glass yellow from the clipping. it’s time for me to go now but where are the sea lion pools and white stone busts missing amongst the rubble? the grain the ink the quality is bad in the clipping tucked wildly away in a lightweight plastic bag
 



an empty bud of white light 



too much to see too much heavy light to











stages of mourning, distress, happiness                flattering snapshots of yellow 

daisies in various stages of undress snapped- 

at all times of year a series of yellow snappings                                  cropped

as many times as every moment can be                                               cropped    

that’s how many images it is                                                    moving it is


flip-book difficult to say    

which year is the photographed year and which year stands alone



on a stage



in response to daily life the kind of daily life where everything is uncomfortably material




that’s somebody else’s favorite memory of my life the yellow daisy says that’s one cropped image raised  from the field of yellow bed but that’s not a field that’s my actual life i am wrapped in the sense of no interval that’s the interval i fell in love with that’s the sense i fell in love with a FISH i say, CLOSE  i say i close my eyes with my headphones on














stages of light                                                stages of light






stages of                                  light stages of light






                  stages




                             of    light


                        
                                     


                   as it is said is not a field but laws it very loose










their eyes shine like cameras






               sentence strips




                                     

                   their eyes




shine like cameras their eyes shine like orphans’ centimeters behind museum-grade glass thick enough to block a voice

the human imagination can’t help but elasticize







the audience he lives in is the most popular pronoun autocorrect defaults to

        















what a candid voice did spew a stranger out of my own mouth an alien grew   impenetrable 



in the field forever tucked can you hear them?



tucking? asking?


behind their hurricane grades of glass?

what is unknown what is unknown

                what is unknown together knowing that 

                   cannot-knowing-together is shared?


and whose face is the similar face is whose face anyways?








stranger’s getting stronger getting stranger every day

 














that one particular fish i fell in love with this one particular fish i looked it up i thought it deserved a looser lip service i made a lock of that long looking loop between eyes mine and the fish’s eyes and brought them closer even closer even closer than that i lapped i looked i called the fish i found some information out on the screen


may become invasive outside of their own native land they

flock to flooded forests in order to live in the amazon, not this one particular fish but its bright right family on display




one loose replica of original home this one particular fish  has never been