Hollow Earth is a sculpture made from glass and wood that creates the illusion of a tunnel descending deep into the Earth, housed in an abandoned shed. Once inside the darkened space, audience members become uneasy as they peer down a brightly lit and very deep-looking hole that drops into infinite darkness. Kaino’s work is a contemplative gesture that explores the complicated and diverse history of tunnel making, from the secret tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the common childhood (and Orientalist) fantasy of digging a hole through the planet and ending up in China. The title, invoking the numerous legends of a subterranean land, provokes the idea that the world is inside out – an overt reference to the crisis of our time. Paradoxically, as the viewer stares down at the piece, wondering about the depth of the tunnel, they are actually staring at themselves as seen through a series of mirrors. In this ironic case, art directly reflects (their) life and the meaning, value and power that they assign to it.
GLENN KAINO – DESERT X
February 23, 2017