Beehive Volcano

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Object Name: 
Sculpture Part with Cassette Player
Title: 
Beehive Volcano
Accession Number: 
93.4.91 C
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 26.5 cm, Diam: 41 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
designed in 1979
made in 1989
Credit Line: 
Partial gift of the artist
Web Description: 
Bees, beehives, and the communal industry that they represent are some of the themes of Beehive Volcano. Consisting of three mold-blown glass domes, the sculpture is accompanied by a soundtrack of buzzing bees. Here, Dennis Oppenheim compares the compressed social activity of the hive—and, by extension, any situation in which social behavior is controlled and suppressed—with the potentially explosive force of a volcano. The bright primary colors give the sculpture a playful, innocent air, masking the warning of its political message.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Oppenheim, Dennis ((American, b. 1938)), Source
1993-12-27
Primary Description: 
Colorless with colorless wrap, transparent colors: amethyst, with green wrap, green with blue wrap non-lead glass, black plastic and cord, portable cassette tape player, cassette soundtrack; blown with hot applications, assembled. Large slightly conical bubble resting on wide end; varies in coloration, size and shape, has lipless opening at top, rest on flattened base with wide roughly-sawn (?) opening, overall body decoration of a thick wrap beginning at top opening and spiraling around body to base; hives have small portable stereo cassette players (Aiwa Super Bass HS-P102) each containing cassette soundtrack of buzzing bees attached to a small Sony speaker (F22C02M-1/8Q D. 2W/K.TONE) placed in base hole of hive, electrical cord snakes out from under glass to adjacent player. Ca) colorless with colorless wrap, this section is smallest in height but has a wider squat form.
Recent Important Acquisitions, 36 (1994) illustrated, p. 119, #33; BIB# AI33896
Glass: Material in the Service of Meaning (1991) pp. 40-41; BIB# 34678