March 12, 2015 - October 25, 2015
Philadelphia artist Bethany Rusen has re-created an earlier installation exhibited at Philadelphia's children's museum titled, Personal Possession, where she similarly collected small wooden toys, both found and donated, as a tribute to the museum's play-oriented mission. Rusen painted the toys white and arranged them in various sized shadow box structures.
For her installation at the Airport, Rusen has again collected small toys. This time, she was inspired by the passengers' inflight experience with their unique aerial perspective of the landscapes and cityscapes below. Rusen's orderly composition of toys recalls the patchwork quilt patterns of fields and the gridded nature of urban planning when seen from a bird's-eye view. The collected recycled toys and their corresponding shadow boxes feature a monochromatic palette that unifies the elements and makes them appear more architectural albeit small scale. It is similar to the inflight sensation when buildings, homes, water towers, or vehicles are perceived as tiny scale models.
Like the universal aerial perception while in flight, there is a universal familiarity with toys. Passengers will often visually scour the landscape below to recognize a particular detail, and it is the same experience with Rusen's assemblages of toys.