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Falling Down 

Wednesday, Aug 29 2007
Artist Aeneas Wilder has a steady hand. He builds towering sculptures by stacking strips of wood, one after the other, without the use of glue or nails or any binding agent save sheer willpower. His delicate creations can take weeks to build, with Wilder perched on a ladder or crane, slowing raising a wavy building, a hollow sphere, or an airy dome, often to the height of a gallery or museum ceiling. And then, when the last strip of wood is in place and the delicate structure is having its Jenga moment, Wilder descends his ladder, takes his first unguarded breath of the duration, goes up to his piece, and fucking kicks it. He boots it. A sharp little Beckham strike to the shins. It all comes crashing down, like a house of cards that's 30 feet high, made of wood, and sitting in gallery -- and you know the price art fetches once it makes it into a museum.

From July 17 to 26, Wilder could be seen assembling a huge sphere at the Exploratorium, and Untitled No. 133 has been balancing there quietly ever since, a nervous smile on its face, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. Today, it's reckoning time. Although Wilder will sadly not be around to give it his customary thwack, a public raffle will let three lucky people grab ropes and yank it down. The breaking ceremony starts at 4 p.m.
July 17-Sept. 3

About The Author

Michael Leaverton


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