Rebecca Wing’s exhibition at the BOX Gallery, which she calls Soft Things Rigidly, is an unassuming body of work. Each piece means everything and nothing. It’s ambiguous that way, much like the show’s title. She isn’t trying to tell us a story or make a statement, though all of her sculptures do exactly what they are supposed to do: They play with us, they are static yet suggest movement, and allure us.
When I sat down with Wing to talk about her work, I found that I was trying hard—too hard—to understand it. I had a list of the usual questions: What inspired this piece? What do you want the viewer to know? What inspires you? What is this piece about? It wasn’t until halfway through our conversation that I realized I needed to be quiet and really let her talk. Most of these pieces are conceived of as “lids” to Wing—I’ll get back to this later. Many of her nine sculptures in the BOX Gallery, inside the Hostel Buffalo Niagara downtown, are displayed precariously: one hung low to the floor-corners protected by bubble wrap, a few of them leaned up against the wall on way-too-small shelves, balanced on a small wooden stilt or leg, one wrapped in a green tarp. Yet they’re all stable, strong and sure. Each work is elegant, intangible, temperamental and playful.