Doris Salcedo, born in 1958 in Bogota, Colombia, is a leading member of a new generation of artists who have achieved international acclaim during the past five years, partly as a result of their choosing to live and work in their countries of birth…
In Colombia, where Salcedo lives and works, the incidence of violent death has risen over the past fifty years to the point where it has become the primary threat to the social fabric. Although this violence does not discriminate between urban and rural victims, its most devastating effects can be witnessed in the less developed regions where Salcedo has traveled on a regular basis during the past decade. Seeking out and interviewing the survivors of violence, the artist is completely absorbed in acting as a secondary witness to the event, to the point where it becomes impossible for her to even try and revisit or reconstruct the original traumatic act for us. As she explains:
“I have come to meet people that have had the generosity of sharing with me their pain. Pain is constantly being revived. I think that allows for the establishment of another type of relation with reality. The distance between them and me disappears, allowing their pain to take over me, to take over my center. If I manage to make a good piece that circulates in the center of society, then their pain will enter into the core of this society. The victims will become the main protagonists.”
Like much of Salcedo’s work of the recent past, Unland incorporates elements of architecture and domestic life that are indirectly connected to the individuals whose stories she has committed to heart. By creating the semblance of shelter, the artist constructs a site where the careful addition of personal effects and/or human and animal fragments signals the transformation of ordinary materials into an intimate encounter with the reconstructed memory of loss. In his catalogue essay for this exhibition, Charles Merewether details the effect of such encounters in Salcedo’s work of the early 1990s:
“Plates, clothing, buttons, zippers and bones are grafted, compressed, and compacted into the surfaces of pieces of furniture. Chairs are covered by a fine skin of lace as if seared into the wood, bones are embedded into the side of a cabinet, a spoon forced between the seams of wood of a kitchen bureau. We may say the furniture appears wounded, both physically and psychically.”
Following previous work that often used humor and slapstick comedy as a vehicle for comprehending specific moments in popular culture and art history, Tim Lee presents a series of new works that operate within the loose confines of an artistic-social laboratory/studio experiment in order to offer a complex inquiry into the connection between highly charged socio-political movements and their transformative impact on the artistic avant-garde. With sources ranging from Alexander Rodchenko, Ad Reinhardt, Bruce Nauman and Public Enemy, the artist combines the templates of varying artistic entities into one cohesive body of work – including video, photography, sculpture and painting – in order to glean a greater (or askance) knowledge of each.
In Party For Your Right To Fight, Public Enemy, 1988, the artist simultaneously re-visits the conventions of early video art as practiced by Bruce Nauman in the late sixties, and Public Enemy’s landmark
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Public Enemy, 1988 and Fear Of A Black Planet, Public Enemy, 1990 are two photographs that document in explicit detail the artist’s attempt to lie perfectly still on the studio floor for one hour. With exposures timed to last with the length of each Public Enemy album, the artist uses various performative strategies -¬ including poses of street protest, Nauman’s early endurance videos, the imagining of the body as a piece of modernist sculpture, and the psychic possibility of levitation – in order to conflate an understanding of these histories. Accordingly, Retrospective, Public Enemy 1988-91 is a two-channel video installation that features the artist repetitively drumming a selection of drum beats taken from Public Enemy tracks that are, in turn, sampled from previously recorded LPs. Recorded live and continuously over the stretch of one hour, the artist makes a contemporary attempt to return, in 2006, late 80s/early 90s electronic drum samples back to its 60s/70s acoustic origins.
Born in Seoul, Korea in 1975, Tim Lee lives and works in Vancouver. His work is represented in public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Canada; Collection de Arte Contemporanea Fundacion, Madrid; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; and Tate Modern, London. Recent exhibitions include New Work/New Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Intertidal, MuHKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Belgium; and Appearances, Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal. Upcoming projects include group exhibitions at Klosterfelde, Berlin, and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, and a solo exhibition curated by Jens Hoffman at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2007.
read article: http://www.bombsite.com/pfeiffer/pfeiffer.html
February 6 – June 5, 2005
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Including work by 20 Los-Angeles-based artists, THING uncovers the most innovative contemporary sculpture from the up-and-coming generation. Probing the formal and conceptual trajectories of sculpture in Los Angeles, THING includes a broad selection of works and addresses a wide range of sculptural practices, attempting to make sense of new materials, forms, methods, and concerns of this promising generation of emerging Angeleno artists. THING offers viewers a chance to examine how the vital and provocative sculpture being produced by L.A.’s younger set extends local traditions and lineages, and also taps into and shapes broader cultural streams. As Los Angeles has become a defining force in international contemporary art, the exhibition, though focusing on Los Angeles, provides a compelling view into the state of sculpture today.
Reaction Facets: International Seaport; Port 1 of 2; energy distribution, holding light, memory of Vermeer
Domestic and imported hardwoods, paint, steel, fabric.
A Touching Moment (Tooting My Own Horn)
Terra-cotta, wood, paint.
LINK: Exhibition website
Just to prove that Joseph Beuys stayed current with the times…
Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986)
4 mb (.mov), 1′ 57″
Beuys tried his luck as a pop singer as part of his political commitment. His song ‘Sonne statt Reagan’ attacks Ronald Reagan’s arms policy. The song was issued as a record and Beuys appeared before big audiences with it during the peace movement’s demonstrations and also with the group Die Desserteure in the ARD television broadcast ‘Bananas’ on 3.7.1982.
‘Regen”, pronounced like ‘Reagan’, is the German for ‘rain’.
“We House” at Southern Exposure Gallery, 2006
studies for “Pocket House”
Sasha Petrenko’s latest architecturally inspired project is titled Pocket-house. This portable one-person shelter is built with a modified boat building technique consisting of laminated strips of plywood. Conveniently, the structure is perfectly scaled to fit on top of Petrenko’s 1989 Acura Legend. The structure is then transported to various locations in Northern California where the artist temporarily resides and photographically documents her experience inside Pocket-house. The minimal yet comfortable structure features light and sound systems, plus sleeping and storage areas that are powered by either a 12 volt power generated by the Acura Legend or 120 volt supplied by her friendly host. Inspired by her experiences as an artist attempting to afford a home of her own, Petrenko’s photographs of her project comment on the basic needs of daily living through alternative means, exploring ideas about place, shelter and affordable housing.
Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc discovers beauty in the unplanned urban landscapes of shantytowns, trailer parks, and barrios. In her installations in various art institutions across the globe, she sends instructions to the musum staff on how to build her installations–often inspired by a type of shelter found halfway across the world–out of local materials. Here she instructs/constructs a massive installation of housing units based on observations made of temporary shelters and gated communities in Caracas, the West Bank, and West Palm Beach.