Rick Araluce: Tunnel Vision

Artist Rick Araluce shared a simple sketch during construction of his installation Rick Araluce: The Final Stop.

You step out onto the edge of the platform and you wait. You look towards the end of the tunnel and see lights flicker in the distance and the rumblings of what sound like a train approaching. But how far away is it? You glance at your watch. More waiting. You wonder if it will arrive on time, and after a while, you wonder if it will arrive at all.

Rick Araluce: The Final Stop is a room-sized installation at  SAAM's Renwick Gallery. Araluce, a Seattle-based artist and scenic designer, has spent the last month at the Renwick, creating an underground subway platform, with an exacting attention to detail. (In fact, one of Araluce's inspirations is miniaturist and criminologist Frances Glessner Lee, whose Nutshells are featured in the adjoining galleries.) The hyperreal installation includes handmade pipe fittings and wood painted to exactly resemble concrete cracking with age. These designs add to the unnerving sense that you've entered a different reality, one defined by waiting, anticipation, and an unfamiliar sense of everyday life.  

Araluce has been documenting the progress of the installation on Instagram. Visit the Renwick to see how The Final Stop all came together. The installation remains on view through January 28, 2018.

 

Framing for arches under construction in a workshop offsite.

 

Rick Araluce's secret formula for turning foam into brick.

 

Arches in progress in the Renwick.