what's growing here?
"The installation What's Growing Here? consists of two red cones made of nylon fabric. Although the forms are suspended from wires, they appear to be floating in space, floating in between rows of palm trees near the entrance plaza of the Ringling School of Art and Design (Sarasota, Florida). We are invited to enter these spaces which are illuminated from within by red and blue lights. The interior of one of these cones is covered with images of fish; the interior of the other, with images of raw beef. The surprise of this encounter is akin to our discovery of some strange plant in a garden. How is it we find fish and meat in such an unusual location? Here the artist dramatizes our relationship with not only the natural environment but with food. Where does food come from, and what is the reality of its origin and ultimate form? We often forget these origins, and now our encounter with them creates a shock of recognition.

Paco Simón is a painter, and the use of color relates to a primary concern in painting. Here the shape of the nylon forms relates to those found in the artist's painting, so that they are like three-dimensional paintings. But the placing of nylon sculptures in an outdoor environment firmly reminds us that the role of art is not to be separate from life. The incorporation of light serves to transform the cone structures into illuminated beacons that invite us to engage them physically by entering them. If the light serves to demarcate one type of space, the images of fish and meat we find within engage us on another altogether more visceral level."

William Jeffett
from What's Growing Here?
2000