Sarah Sze. Still Life with Flowers, 1999. Mixed media, dimensions variable
"The machine in Kafka’s [‘In the Penal Colony’] is horrific, designed to torture and execute a prisoner unaware even that a sentence has been passed against him. But the device also arouses an undeniable curiosity and is described in the story’s first line as a ‘remarkable piece of apparatus.’ Similarly, Sze’s contraption remains beautiful and delicate even after its underlying menace is detected."
—my 1999 Chicago Reader review of Sze’s Many a Slip at the Museum of Contemporary Art