Flock in Space, 2013
Trinity River Audubon Center
An installation of 100 concrete and steel “birds” took flight, recalling the industrial origins and environmental resurrection of the Trinity River Audubon Center.
Ruben Ochoa created a unique body of work that transformed common materials into breathtaking sculptures. For Nasher XChange, Ochoa responded to the origins of the Trinity River Audubon Center as an illegal dump site in southeast Dallas and its transformation to a beautiful nature center at the edge of the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States.
Ochoa’s concrete and steel sculpture derived from the posts and footings used in chain link fences. In conversation with Brancusi’s Bird in Space, Ochoa envisioned his installation as man-made materials morphing into organic movement, reminiscent of a flock of birds. By evoking the site’s change from an urban dumping ground to a place of scenic beauty, Flock in Space reflected the malleability and resiliency of nature. Ochoa’s work explored the inclusion and exclusion throughout the urban areas and how class and labor were contextually impacted by the built environment. He used materials and objects that signified demarcation in urban spaces, such as galvanized fence poles, concrete retaining walls and wooden pallets, and removed them from their original context to shift their meaning for viewers. The work was Ochoa’s first public sculpture commission.