Contemplating Sisyphus

Title: Contemplating Sisyphus

Creator: Katarina Isaksson

Region: Rome

Date: 2010 (installed at Griffiss)

Medium: steel, rock

Technique: welding

Dimensions: 63 inches (height) x 63 inches (width) x 72 inches (depth), adjustable placement

Description: Take a seat in the chair that is a part of this sculpture, and contemplate for a moment. Consider the surrounding landscape and the form of the sculpture itself. Isaksson's title urges us to consider the classical character Sisyphus. Upon him the Greek gods imposed the task of rolling a boulder up a hill each day only to have it fall to the bottom again, again, and again, each evening, for all eternity. In 2005 Isaksson began exploring this theme, creating two other related works. She completed this work in 2010 and it has been installed at Griffiss. As with many of her other works, this piece explores the visual experience of place: finding oneself in a landscape. The work is placed on a hill in keeping with the Sisyphean tale. Isaksson carefully chose a location with a simultaneous view of the natural landscape and the industrial park. This relationship is shared in the juxtaposition of industrial steel with natural stone. The two thick squares are welded to surround the boulder, capturing the appearance of motion and framing one’s view of the landscape on the other side, while finding oneself framed within the piece as well. The story becomes a metaphor for the patterns and structures, natural and otherwise, that surround us.

Subject: Public Art, Mythology, Classical, Sisyphus, King of Corinth (Mythological character), Metal sculpture, Outdoor sculpture

Rights: © Katarina Isaksson 2012

(In Copyright,

Find out more:

ID#: AO-00013

Location: Griffiss International Sculpture Garden, Rome, along Hill Road