5/31/13 11:59 AM
“Water Stock” is an unusual metal sculpture by Morgan Herum, and its very name begets a series of questions that everyone on the planet ought to be asking about the liquid element that composes 60% of the human body and covers 70% of the earth’s surface. These can be quickly summarized by rearranging the words of Herum’s title into the statement: We need to take stock of our water. Herum addresses this sculpturally by spinning and silver-plating copper into three drinking vessels that look like cut-open water bottles, and placing these on a ridged aluminum base that resembles a wavy puddle. Bottled water, as most of us now know, represents one of the most ludicrous, wasteful and successful marketing schemes of recent times. That it plays not only on desires for convenience and luxury but also on legitimate fears about the safety of drinking water makes it only all the more insidious and intractable a problem, one that Herum manages to raise through her choice of materials: silver cups for fancy sipping, aluminum to suggest the heavy metals, endocrine disruptors and other toxins that continue to pollute our waterways.