Uri Aran works in different mediums, such as sculpture, drawing, and video, to investigate how language produces meaning and experience, and how it has the ability to create a hierarchy. Aran is known for his sculptural installations that often feature seemingly chaotic arrangements of found objects installed on tabletops – a gesture which describes intricate microcosms and highlights problems of organization and categorization. In his drawings and videos, the artist often plays with human feelings that we project onto animals.
For the High Line, Aran presents a sound work that explores how we use personification and animal metaphors to define human behavior in our daily conversations. Working with a professional voice actor who uses a formal, slightly affected pronunciation, Aran has created a sound track that emanates softly from the planting beds below the elevated pathway on the High Line between West 25th and West 26th Streets. The sound track features the actor reading a list of creatures, from common ones, like the household cat and the spider, to more wild ones, such the platypus and the shark, each described as “good” or “bad.” Serious and at times comical, the expressionless tone of the actor’s voice clashes with the definition of these creatures as either “good” or “bad,” sparking dialogue about the arbitrary nature of classification in language.
Photo by Iwan Baan.