Artist Aria Dean (b. 1993) began Little Island (2022) by putting a digital model of a monolith through a collision simulation and then rendering the impact as a physical sculptural form.
She fabricated the work in chromakey green, which is the color of greenscreens — film backgrounds that allow separately filmed imagery to be added during post production. In some ways, the work recalls the anti-illusionism on 1960s minimalist sculptures — often monoliths –in which materiality was meant to be the only meaning.
Resting on a pedestal in the form of an iconic column, Dean’s monolith puts this history in quotes, as the artist fundamentally shifts the terms of the question: “If reality might be illusions all the way down to the very core of it, then what would an object be that sits correctly within that conception of things?”
A cuboid standing erect in its tangible form, Little Island/Gut Punch is either being struck or collapsing in on itself, and is roughly the size of the artist.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC as Part of The 2022 Biennial: Quiet As It’s Kept.