Angler Grove, 2018

Submitted by Randy Polumbo

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Client: Bombay Beach Biennale

Location: Bombay Beach, CA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team

Artist

Randy Polumbo

Fabricator

Jon Shearin

Overview

Permanently installed in Bombay Beach, CA,
10′ x 16′ x 20′

Derelict house; polished aluminum; salvaged submarine hatch; single low-resolution video display; LED lights and electronics; fireproof upholstery; handblown glass flowers populated with mercury silvered plate glass; crystal “planets” composed of reflective highway sign and glass beads; silicone-sprayed foam topographical seating outside wrapping house; and puzzling sideways tamarisk trees.

Entered via a salvaged submarine hatch containing hand-blown glass flowers and a single low-resolution video that displays rhythmic loops of naturally occurring whirlpools, Angler Grove is constructed with topographical seating and puzzling sideways tamarisk trees as well as a contemplative grotto and outdoor grove made of natural foam and food-grade silicone. The hulking trees become “eyelids” to the “eye” of the ocular window, which tantalizes viewers as an invitation to surveillance and reflection; the resultant effect is a reversal of figure/ground, spectator, and performer.

Goals

Bombay Beach, California is a beach on the near-dead inland Salton Sea, just south of Joshua Tree National Park. The character of the location is eerie and strange. For Angler Grove, I created an inviting, interactive refueling station for visitors to this out-of-the-way near-desert location. I was commissioned by the Bombay Beach Biennale to produce the installation. Like my other signature Grotto works, this one is filled with glimmering glass flowers and shining metal. It is a place of fascination where those who enter linger for a long time, taking in the work through all the senses. Against a backdrop of the near-dead sea, Angler Grove is insistently and utterly alive.