CHARLES GOLDMAN at the Toronto Sculpture Garden (115 King East), to April 15. 416-515-9658. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
this is tetherball for the truly gifted. New York artist Charles Goldman's Infinitely Intersecting Orbits takes that classic park game and multiplies it by 15. In case you've forgotten what tetherball is (not the regular playground fixture it once was, it's probably been deemed too dangerous by overprotective parents), it's that long pole stuck in the ground, with a volleyball attached to it via several feet of rope. As a youngster, you might have spent hours whacking at the ball with no real purpose other than to wind, unwind and wind it back again around the pole. A lot of fun, really.
In theory, in Goldman's piece the paths of two balls are supposed to trace infinity signs in the air. Multiply that by the 5-by-3 grid of 15 poles he's placed in the charming little Sculpture Garden and you get a substantial number of infinities -- as if one weren't enough.
In practice, by the time you set the final ball in orbit around its metal post, the first balls have lost their will to fly. It's very difficult to keep even a few of them rotating with any kind of serious momentum, but it's worth the try. Passersby stare as you run hither and thither, pounding balls into a frenzied sea of motion.
Interactive art is often tedious, but there's none of that here. Goldman's balls can bring out your inner child and get your heart rate up at the same time. It's art that's good for your body and soul as well as your email@example.com