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October 2017
Vol. 36 No. 8

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center

This selection of shows has been curated by Sculpture magazine editorial staff and includes just a few of the great shows around the world.

500 Capp Street Foundation - San Francisco: Bethan Huws
Through November 4, 2017
Bethan Huws, ArgonThough Huws is sometimes considered a conceptualist, her true interest lies in the experience of art. From architectural interventions to sculptures, films, and performances, her work echoes her insistence that if "we don't want to fall into the trap of theory we have to check it out with the body." Sensual stimuli and intellectual impulses come together in her precisely crafted and associatively vague work, which interweaves childhood memories of Wales, experiences on the Plateau des Milles - vaches, and a longstanding fascination with Duchamp's "human truth." Quirky sculptural re-readings of Duchampian touchstones, semantic doppelgangers parroting trees, ephemeral, living tableaux, and a flotilla of tiny boats (each made from a single reed) spark moments of unexpected poetic discovery-- visual pyrotechnics on a par with the literary experiments of her inspirations Beckett, Joyce, Apollinaire, and Mallarmé, though in her case humanizing wit tempers clever conceit. "Residue of an Interview," which takes its title from a David Ireland work of the same name, brings Huws into stimulating virtual dialogue with another devotee of the Duchampian impulse, setting up unlikely correspondences and ruptures that free objects from the straitjacket of conventional meaning.

Web site http://500cappstreet.org


Bethan Huws, Argon.
Fondazione Berengo - Murano, Venice: Loris Gréaud
Through November 26, 2017
oris Gréaud, The Unplayed Notes
Factory. A cross-disciplinary artist, Gréaud is an enthusiast of architecture and quantum mechanics, a graphic designer, electronic music producer, and founder of an experimental film studio. In 2004, he founded DGZ Research with the architects Marc Dölger and Damien Ziakovic in order to realize "utopian" projects built via empirical machines in which the medium systematically follows the ideas, which are themselves exchanged, shared, negotiated, and distorted. The Unplayed Notes Factory, the latest iteration in an ongoing series of grand-scale conceptual installations, breathes new life into Murano's Campiello della Pescheria glass furnace, which has been closed for 60 years (and preserved untouched ever since). A colossal organism that distends through space and history, Gréaud's furnaceturned- dreaming factory, which he likens to Frankenstein's monster, undertakes the vitrification of hourglass sand, a jealously guarded alchemical process with the vain ambition to crystallize time. Moving to a strange choreographic score, ovens burn, glass objects solidify and break, smokescreens evaporate, and mysterious outlines flare and fade in an endless, haunting cycle. Like many of the Venice Biennale's other collateral exhibitions this year, Factory is a staging, an illusion that relies on total suspension of disbelief and a willingness to succumb to immersion. As miraculous as it is, this resurrection (sponsored in part by the Glasstress initiative) is only temporary, though its fantastical conjuring of creative force may go a long way toward the goal of saving the Murano glass tradition. Works by 40 other artists who have collaborated with surviving workshops (including Sarah Sze, Ai Weiwei, Monica Bonvicini, Laure Prouvost, and Thomas Schütte) can be seen at this year's edition of Glasstress at Palazzo Franchetti

Web site www.theunplayednotesfactory.com



oris Gréaud, The Unplayed Notes Factory.
Houghton Hall - Norfolk, U.K.: Richard Long
Through October 26, 2017
Richard Long, White
Deer Circle. Long's walks, photographs, maps, drawings, and sculptures are as much about his personal relationship to the landscape as they are about the land itself. Like the younger generation of British environmental artists who followed in his footsteps, he focuses on the physical and perceptual interactions that arise from an individual's presence in and passage through a particular terrain: human scale and presence remain key. "EARTH SKY," his largest show since the Tate retrospective in 2009, features several new site-specific works set within Houghton's historic grounds. Made of local carr stone, flint from East Anglia, trees from the estate, and Cornish slate, these pieces layer a new geometry of circles and "desire lines" over the formal gardens and fill an arcade with gestural "falls" of white mud, accompanying the permanent Full Moon Circle (commissioned for Houghton in 2003), as well as works by James Turrell, Jeppe Hein, Stephen Cox, Rachel Whiteread, and Anya Gallaccio.

Web site www.houghtonhall.com


Richard Long, White Deer Circle.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York: Adrián Villar Rojas
Through October 29, 2017
Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater
of Disappearance. Villar Rojas builds worlds we have never seen, places we have never been. An idea, channeled via discussions and collaborations, grows into a piece, an exhibition, an inclusive performance. Everything is part of the work, from concept and experiment to production and final deterioration-- all of it set in motion by time, which acts as catalyst and director, staging a drama that moves inevitably toward a radical ending. His spectacular rooftop installation at the Met, The Theater of Disappearance, continues to explore his primary obsession--the trajectory of human culture--this time as seen through the lens of the museum's collection, which becomes a "spacetime labyrinth." The echo of Borges is not accidental: Villar Rojas shares the same anxiety about the human insistence on mapping, ordering, and controlling. When does the representation overtake reality? In his surreal and apocalyptic explosion of history, human figures fuse with replicated artifacts, their amalgamated intertwinings frozen out of time, captured mid-moment like the engulfed bodies of Pompeii. Without context, hierarchy, or classification, these are the "remains of art." Not ruins, but the things themselves as they should be seen, stripped of imposed codifications that masquerade as truth but serve only to erase. Web site www.metmuseum.org

Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance.
Museum of Modern Art of Bologna (MAMbo) - Bologna: Christian Boltanski
Through November 12, 2017
Christian
Boltanski, installation view of Anime.
Di luogo in luogo. Few artists dance with death like Boltanski. Though he is best known for emotionally intense installations that conjure the ghosts of World War II concentration camps, his true interest lies in "the fact of dying." In his recent work, the universal becomes personal, thematic interest tied to his own life expectancy. Transgressing this last taboo means nothing to an artist who follows the example of Lucretius and refuses to fear or cheat his way out of life's inevitable outcome: "It is not melancholic, but felicitous when you accept death. It makes every moment great, more important, and happier," he says. "Anime. Di luogo in luogo," Boltanski's multi-venue project sponsored by the City of Bologna, features a range of works connecting life and death, memory and oblivion. MAMbo's retrospective is accompanied by public art initiatives and interventions around the city, including Réserve, a site-specific installation at a former powder keg bunker. In these works, images and events come briefly into focus, then melt away, leaving barely a trace. That act of fading pays homage to our dualistic finale in which physical ending is followed by an equally eternal erasure of immaterial image and recollection.

Web site www.anime-boltanski.it


Christian Boltanski, installation view of "Anime. Di luogo in luogo."
Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana - Venice: Damien Hirst
Through December 3, 2017
Damien Hirst, Aspect of Katie
Ishtar ¥o-landi. Despite the bad-boy tactics and opportunistic courting of hype that have brought Hirst unceasing attention, he explores serious themes-- the process of life and death, the lies we tell and the desires we indulge to mask our fears of the inevitable. The celebrity, luxury materials, and wealth associated with his media image only underscore the memento mori-nature of his preserved animal corpses and medical/pharmaceutical display cases containing not miracle cures or everlasting youth but instruments of pain and mortality. "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable," his mind-boggling, over-thetop extravaganza of an exhibition, continues the battle with time but shifts the terms of engagement to the cultural sphere, tackling nothing less than the quest for immortality through art. In a conceit this large, narrative can no longer be implied as in Hirst's earlier works; it requires nothing less than a full-on mythology worthy of Matthew Barney (whose operatic world-making informs the recent trend to subordinate objects to conceptual scenarios). In fact, Hirst assumes the role of director or impresario here, marshaling the human and technological resources of a major blockbuster film to wrap the bones of artifice with the flesh of reality. He needs the back-up because he's selling a whopper of a lie. Barnacle-encrusted treasures recovered from an ancient shipwreck (films of the salvage operation, ostensibly funded by Hirst, offer proof of the find) add up to an entire museum of world history: from Egyptian sphinxes, Greek armor, and a purported cyclops skull to Chinese bells, an Aztec calendar stone, and statues of Goofy, Mowgli, and Baloo--all lost to the sea off the coast of east Africa more than 2,000 years ago. Sheer profusion strengthens the glamor of the spectacle, reinforced by the patina of exoticism and the glitter of precious metals, but whether we fall under the spell depends on our willingness to relinquish control, sink into, and merge with the conceit. Everything hangs on whether the viewer can be enticed to inhabit this unreal world and interact with it on its own terms--fantasy requires active participation. Some critics see only a random bunch of stuff indistinguishable from the props in an Indiana Jones movie; others see a subtle meditation on the practice of collecting. Hirst's semi-fictional museum, like everything else he has done, is divisive, but it is not completely cynical. It conveys a passionate love of history as adventure, an understanding of the inexplicable mysteries of art, and a love/hate relationship with time. In the end, does the execution of the individual works matter? Without a story, without the ennobling veil of age, most objects would be little more than kitsch.

Web site www.palazzograssi.it


Damien Hirst, Aspect of Katie Ishtar ¥o-landi.
Venice Biennale - Venice
Through November 26, 2017
Geoffrey Farmer, A way out of
the mirror, Canada Pavilion. "Viva Arte Viva," Biennale director Christine Macel's title for the 57th exhibition, says it all. In contrast to Okwui Enwezor's somber 2015 edition, this year's show is socially aware but optimistic, confident in the belief that art is a force for life. Macel's organizing metaphor mimics the construction of fabric, emphasizing connections, cooperation, and the unraveling of hierarchies, and she has relied heavily on fiber to convey her message. From Lee Mingwei's Mending Project and Ernesto Neto's A Sacred Place to works by Petrit Halilaj, David Medalla, Cynthia Gutierrez, and Maria Lai, textile- based, often interactive projects offer a soft approach to vexing problems and political critique. Macel earnestly believes that art can effect change, but the question is how. Do art and activism have to be the same thing? For many artists, including Phyllida Barlow, whose folly fills the British Pavilion, the making of art is, in itself, a political act, even if the work is not branded as such; the same can be said about the viewing of art. This position--that the exchange between artist and viewer is quintessentially human and beyond governance and control-- is in some ways a fallback, and yet, as history has proven time and again, it can also the most liberating and imaginative. Mark Bradford's abstraction is a case in point: there is a direct correlation between his ability to subsume political outrage, releasing it in transformed guise, and his generous approach to social activism, both in his home city of L.A. and in Venice. Unlike Olafur Eliasson, who has pressed free labor into a production line, Bradford strives to extend the creative "alchemy of the studio" to others so they can use it for themselves. Perhaps it's time to remember that this is why we need art--why we feel compelled to make it and experience it. Macel's decision to celebrate art's inner worlds rather than its outward statements of protest may end up sparking a new revolution.

Web site www.labiennale.org

Geoffrey Farmer, A way out of the mirror, Canada Pavilion.
Vienna Secession - Vienna: Toni Schmale
Through November 5, 2017
Toni Schmale, waltraud. Schmale's installations, performances, sculptures, animations, videos, and drawings reveal the unequal gender constructions that prop up power relations. Deceptively abstract, her minimal forms disclose subtle formal references to fetishism, torture, sport, and physical exertion. A virtuoso who commands her materials, Schmale underscores the warped performative potential of these works with "almost painful" functional inversions and mutations that gain force from "campy" collisions. The possibilities for association are manifold and, at the same time, consciously vague: machines made of galvanized steel coated with electrostatic powder, concrete, and molded rubber confuse exercise with the rituals of domination; ordinary tools of craftsmanship contort into instruments of suffering and submission. At their core, these symbolically dense icons encode a rejection of rigid patriarchal structures, not least Christianity, designed to first break and then control sexuality and erotic power. Encountering such renegade and alluring objects of desire--temptations just waiting for a body to complete them--induces a spine-tingling frisson of release, a sense of freedom unfettered by conventional morality, limited only by imagination and personal preference.

Web site www.secession.at

Toni Schmale, waltraud.
Wanås - Knislinge, Sweden: SculptureMotion
Through November 5, 2017
Éva Mag, view of work in pro -
gress. For 20 years, choreographer William Forsythe has explored the legacy of Calder's Objet ballet, creating what he calls "choreographic objects." Three of Forsythe's works form the core of "SculptureMotion," which investigates how artists approach motion today - beyond the mobile, the stabile, or the machine. In Nowhere and Everywhere at the same time, no. 4, visitors navigate an unpredictable obstacle course of more than 400 suspended pendulums, while the new Underall introduces motion into an abandoned house, throwing architectural stability off balance. Other featured artists, including Carolina Falkholt, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, and the collaborative Mammalian Diving Reflex, also exploit the self-awareness that comes from physical movement and the negotiation of terrain suddenly rendered unfamiliar. Éva Mag's clay, textile, and metal sculptures turn a gallery into a psychological minefield loaded with memories of gestures and anxieties over physical and mental strength. Sonia Khurana's multi-part video and interactive performance project focuses on the prostrate body, turning a seemingly passive position into an active perspective. Together, these works emphasize the dual meaning of movement--a physical effort on the part of an individual and a collective action to impact social conditions.

Web site www.wanas.se


Éva Mag, view of work in pro - gress.
Whitney Museum of American Art - New York: Calder: Hypermobility
Through October 23, 2017
Alexander Calder, Dancers
and Sphere maquette set in motion
in Calder's studio, 1938. Left Before Calder, movement in sculpture was an almost unthinkable oxymoron -- real movement that is. Implied movement -- from contrapposto to the torques and twists of the Baroque -- only served to reinforce the stability, permanence, and stasis underlying the perception of motion as the viewer changed position and perspective. But what happens to the object, and our interaction with it, when it, too, becomes animated and allowed to move freely through space? We take the answer for granted now, but in 1931, Calder's mobiles and stabiles were truly radical. This exhibition not only offers a rare opportunity to experience motor- and touch-activated works in action, it also brings them into dialogue with a wide range of contemporary artists; performances this month include the debut of Abigail DeVille's collaboration with director Charlotte Brathwaite and new works by Nora Schultz, Jill Magid, and C. Spencer Yeh.

Web site www.whitney.org


Alexander Calder, Dancers and Sphere maquette set in motion in Calder's studio, 1938. Left
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - San Francisco: Tania Bruguera
Through October 29, 2017
Tania
Bruguera, Tatlin's Whisper #6. An interdisciplinary artist working in the ephemeral, experiential fields of installation and performance, Bruguera creates convergences of art, politics, and life that explore urgent issues of exile, displacement, and instability, as well as our individual and collective responses to them. Addressing the subtlety and seductiveness of power, her work critiques what she calls the "fragile balance between ethics and desire." Bruguera is certainly willing to court trouble and potential backlash in her explorations of human behavior and weakness; performances in Cuba and Colombia have generated heated controversy with their distribution of cocaine, calls for democracy, and exercise of free speech, while her newest project, Escuela de Arte Útil, in Cuba has met with countless obstacles. "Talking to Power," a survey of six long-term works, features powerful projects from the past 30 years--including The Francis Effect, Immigrant Movement International, and #YoTambienExijo--that demonstrate a commitment to transforming the emotional and symbolic affect of art into political effectiveness.

Web site www.ybca.org

Tania Bruguera, Tatlin's Whisper #6.
de Young Museum - San Francisco: Leonardo Drew
Through October 29, 2017
Leonardo Drew, Number 197. For almost 30 years, Drew's massive wall-bound tableaux, objects, and installations have engaged the cyclical nature of existence. Made to resemble the detritus of everyday life, his formally abstract but emotionally charged compositions possess a unique aesthetic authority and metaphorical weight, transcending time and place to celebrate the eternal through the discarded and finite. His labor-intensive works range from the intense drama of heavy, encrusted ruins to the ethereal language of paper casts. Add the poetic intimacy of his recent works on paper, and Drew's practice can be described as a journey toward enlightenment, full of reprises and returns as well as new beginnings. His new installation, Number 197, explodes his negotiations with the grid, as well as its ideological and aesthetic parameters, across three walls of the de Young's atrium in a controlled storm of creation. By "becoming the weather," Drew gives birth to matter, his aged and faded objects taking their place within a cosmic cycle of decay and regeneration.

Web site www.famsf.org


Leonardo Drew, Number 197.

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