A curated selection of 100 word reviews from Eutopia for Temporary Art Review.
This month’s selection is curated by Amie Cunat.
Swipe series [link] Chicago, Illinois
Leah Mackin’s Swipe Series initially appears as a group of foreboding matrices: velvet pools of toner on evenly crushed, embossed paper or desolate steel sheet. Through folding, collaging, and mounting, the automated character of each is transformed into a delicate remnant. Their once superlative surfaces now marred by the necessity of human touch, expose their fragility and, in display, leave us with images of prior utility now barren. Like memorials these pieces acknowledge the touch that sustains them, yet leave us to question whether that touch, perhaps a metaphor for human intervention elsewhere, should be mourned or celebrated.
~ Eli Blasko
images courtesy of the artist
Michael Arad (architect), Peter Walker and Partners (landscape architects)
New York, New York
The 9/11 Memorial is an unfortunate success. Vast dual cubic wounds swallow torrents of water, forming inverse fountains guarded by the names of the lost. The names, a gesture towards humanization, spark an abstracted empathy quickly obstructed by smiling tourists posing for selfies: social capital trumping intent and decorum. The site functions as grand destination park, nominally about remembrance and devoid of mourning, except within the distastefully toppling museum providing commoditized relief. The scale echoes the symbolic, versus statistic, value of the tragedy, flexing green-space to life against a voracious market, signaling vast power in the economics of loss.
Ruins are self evident historical palimpsests fundamentally different than designed memorials. Here the opportunity to mark and preserve the sacred site of an epic calamity and the memory of those who lost their lives is given to a flattened corporate park surrounded by a haphazard display of new skyscrapers. The awe at the sight of the reflecting pools at the footprint of towers owed to their massive scale is a short lived spectacle; having seen one, the casual visitor might peek, but is unlikely to pause for a redundant scene which nullifies the whole idea of reflecting let alone memorialization.
images by Ryder Richards
Auto Relativity Kinetotron
Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas [link] January 23 – March 10, 2015
Auto Relativity Kinetotron relies on an economy of content to construct visual forms of existential crises. Three damaged plexiglass vitrines stacked to near human height, one containing a clay amorphous ball, confront an undulating projection of snowy mountaintops. A nervous tension connects the two: one never able to find stability, the other unable to fulfill expectation. Another injured vitrine protects the third component in the exhibition: a Chock Full O’ Nuts can filled with dead flies. The recycled food container becomes waste thrice-fold, a carrying vessel for the perished consumers of human fecal matter, a Manzoni stripped of ego.
~ Gregory Ruppe
images courtesy of Goss-Michael Foundation
Biosphere 2 [link]
curated by Jacob Rhodes
Field Projects, Chelsea, NY [link]
Unpacking the 90’s biosphere project’s psychological failings, Heist presents the engineered, structural forms of the utopic dream as a stable force against which ego batters. A hysterically phallic glass column topped with a shoddy, slumped geodesic dome clumsily isolates and aggrandizes biosphere texts. Triangular wall panels issue a fragmented, foggy battle cry, a half-hearted stencil mirroring a half-hearted believer’s brash voice and casual actions, echoed on the left by a push-pin archive of magnanimity and selfishness. Tragically, the constant conflict needed to realize the noble pursuit was cancerously carried within, poignantly captured in Heist’s delicate gouaches of the site’s derelict bones.
~ Ryder Richards
images courtesy of Field Projects
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY [link]
Rising out of the detritus of a dystopian water world, Submerged Motherlands parallels current environmental concerns with its monumental scale and unavoidable immersion. Offering hope through the power and resilience of nature, a gigantic Ceiba tree created from reclaimed fabric damaged during Hurricane Sandy, soars to the dome. Compelling figures in Swoon’s signature “street art” style are woven into the installation, bookended by two ingenious vessels speaking of man’s tenacity in the face of unfathomable challenges. Completed by transparent layers of dripping aquatic paint embroidered with flitting cutwork shadows Swoon transforms the rotunda into a surprising, if disturbing, theatrical installation.
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