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July/August 2018
Vol. 37 No. 6

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.

The Contemporary Austin- Austin, Texas: Rodney McMillian
Through August 26, 2018
Rodney McMillian, installation
view of Against a Civic Death. Deeply attuned to the social systems that shape individual lives, McMillian goes large in scale through small actions, altering post-consumer objects to reveal latent ideologies and exposing the means of building (and maintaining) a vulnerable citizenship. For more than a decade, he focused on the home as part of a larger project tracing the intersection of race, class, gender, and socioeconomic policy, but he also reaches beyond the domestic sphere to tackle root causes and not just effects. "Against a Civic Death" takes up where Untitled (The Supreme Court Painting) (2004–06) left off, dissecting how government and the media discuss justice, democracy, and civil rights. Split into two starkly delineated, black and white zones, the show reproduces the uneasy divides at the heart of U.S. politics. An outline of the White House hand-stitched on a vinyl curtain crumples and folds; behind it, a new film explores just how vulnerable and twisted such an "architecture of power" can become when abused. Upstairs, pod: frequencies to a manifestationing celebrates power from below: an installation of black vases on white shelves is accompanied by a soundtrack that layers Alice Coltrane, Sonny Sharrock, and Shirley Chisholm, who, back in 1972, excoriated a system that "relegates the masses to the bottom of the priority list."

Web site www.thecontemporaryaustin.org


Rodney McMillian, installation view of "Against a Civic Death."
Des Moines Art Center- Des Moines, Iowa: Sterling Ruby
Through September 9, 2018
Sterling Ruby, Basin
Theology/SACRUM SACRAL. Ruby's work alternates between fluid and static, minimal and expressionistic, pristine and defaced. Using a range of media, including video, collage, ceramic, and fiber, he explores the formal qualities of containment. This exhibition is the first to focus on his ceramic sculptures, which have played an important part in his broader practice. Though heavily indebted to craft, these works rebel against its confines. Immersed in formal codes and gestures that signal transgression, they feel both familiar and alien, reveling in process, materiality, and accident. Ruby rolls, punches, assembles, and caresses clay by hand and machine to arrive at vessel-like forms that often hold the debris of previous firings. Like a reverse archaeologist, he treats final objects as sites, embedding experimental history within their strata. Hence, clay functions as a personal "monument material" that also locks pernicious dichotomies into singular, malleable entities, trapping individual impulse and mechanized control, liberation and repression, into a stalemated embrace.

Web site www.desmoinesartcenter.org

Sterling Ruby, Basin Theology/SACRUM SACRAL.
Institute of Contemporary Art- Philadelphia: Suki Seokyeong Kang
Through August 12, 2018
Suki Seokyeong Kang, Jeong 1/4
Series. Though Kang's hybrid practice is rooted in classical Korean poetry, craft, and dance, her concerns belong firmly to the present. Her ambitious new installation Black Mat Oriole (2017), the culmination of five years of research and production, brings together sculp - ture, painting, and video to draw viewers into the power and politics of space. Using the strict codes of chunaengmu, a traditional solo dance performed for royalty, she explores how space can be divided into grids according to systems of power, cultural custom, or artistic lineage. Moving through galleries strewn with individual sculptures that reflect the weight and tangibility of everyday objects, freestanding structural frames, and hwamunseok (traditional hand-woven reed mats), we reach new realizations about the gestures necessary to negotiate a choreographed space.

Web site www.icaphila.org

Suki Seokyeong Kang, Jeong 1/4 Series.
K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen- Düsseldorf: Raqs Media Collective
Through August 12, 2018
Raqs
Media Collective, More Salt in Your
Tears. Formed in 1992, New Delhi-based Raqs (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) began with documentary film-making, but its reach expanded into a larger sphere at Documenta 11 (2002). Since then, the collective has created highly compelling installations that still make use of film while engaging in progressively more complex and poetic conversations between video or still images and text, sound, software, performance, sculpture, and found objects. Displaying a sustained ambivalence toward modernity, these works refuse most of its organizing principles, including progress and development. This exhibition returns to Raqs's ongoing fascination with time, its measure, and how both relate to space and history. From the intimate beat of a pulse to the orchestrated rhythms of world events, to the silence of eternity, works such as Lost in Search of Time and Revoltage question conventional timekeeping, as well as its despotic rule over the functions of everyday life and foundational role in the capitalist exploitation of labor.

Web site www.kunstsammlung.de


Raqs Media Collective, More Salt in Your Tears.
Kunsthalle Wien- Vienna: Kate Newby
Through September 2, 2018
Kate Newby, A rock in
this pocket (detail).Newby's site-responsive works cannot be experienced by vision alone; they require bodily confrontation. Everyday transience governs her processbased working method of instigating situations and experiences. She has asked people to carry tiny objects in their pockets or to take ceramic stones and skim them over water, while her subtle spatial interventions, often hiding in plain sight, blur the line between object and surroundings-- for instance, handmade stones inserted into a brick sidewalk or ceramic wind chimes installed in a remote landscape, which can only be found by following their music. Handmade and altered objects crafted from unfired bricks, ceramic, bronze, and glass act as the surprising protagonists of these encounters, their informal and vibrant materiality inviting us to engage, to enter the premise of the work and interact with its parameters. "I can't nail the days down" features a group of new installations based on observational research and casual investigations, including a drain-like depression designed to absorb leaves, rainwater, and trash--all the ordinary remains of outdoor life.

Web site www.kunsthallewien.at


Kate Newby, A rock in this pocket (detail).
Les Abattoirs- Toulouse, France: Renaud Jerez
Through August 26, 2018
Renaud Jerez, installation view
of “Black Mirror.” Jerez works across disciplines, but with a concentration on sculpture. Made of bandages, fabric, and light industrial materials, his hauntingly apocalyptic and abjectly humorous anthropomorphic forms imagine a monstrous futuristic state of humanity, seemingly starved by an all-consuming technology. Intricate and violent, these skeletal cyborgs (part vampire and part mummy) wander through recognizable ruins of cultural destruction and decay, masters and victims both. "Black Mirror," his first museum exhibition in France, plunges viewers into his version of the uncanny valley, where greater verisimilitude breeds disturbance. Part domestic space and part installation, Jerez's immersive world sabotages the familiar to oscillate between attraction and repulsion, the real and the virtual, imagining a future upended by the unpredictable outcomes of a "technological singularity" wrought by artificial intelligence run amuck.

Web site www.lesabattoirs.org

Renaud Jerez, installation view of "Black Mirror."
Musée d'Art Modern (MUDAM)- Luxembourg: Katinka Bock
Through September 2, 2018
Katinka Bock, Seelandschaft mit
Nebel Look meets touch in Bock's understated, richly sensitive works. The sensory overlap makes sense for an artist whose primary material is clay--folded, crumpled, wrapped, molded, and rubbed by hand to create a broad vocabulary of forms and textures. Her process, located at the intersection of malleability and gesture, also embraces physical forces such as heat, evaporation, and other natural means of alteration--all of which leave their mark not only on clay, but also on stone, wood, copper, bronze, and fabric. Carefully orchestrated through space, these objects join the flow of life--precarious assemblages with the potential to tell multiple stories and take on different meanings and configurations. For Bock, who compares her works to words and her exhibitions to texts, nothing is finished; everything remains open to editing and reworking, existing in an intermediate, transient state. "Smog / Tomorrow's Sculpture" marks the second stage in a three-part series of exhibitions; the last will open at the Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône- Alpes in October.

Web site www.mudam.lu


Katinka Bock, Seelandschaft mit Nebel.
MoMA PS1- Queens, New York: Julia Phillips
Through September 3, 2018
Julia Phillips,
Extruder (#1). Working primarily with ceramics, Phillips creates objects and scenes with intimate connections to the body. Her sculptures often propose various support structures for the human form while emphasizing its absence--though casts of limbs, orifices, handprints, and other corporeal traces leave physically and psychologically resonant impressions. For Phillips, the body is mate - rially, linguistically, and metaphorically entangled in politics, as suggested by the appearance of words such as "manipulator," "protector," and "extruder" in her titles. "Failure Detection" serves as an equally suggestive guide to the six new commissions and existing sculptures in this show, revealing them as tools for identifying, correcting, and preventing perceived glitches.

Web site http://momaps1.org


Julia Phillips, Extruder (#1).
Queens Museum- Queens, New York: Mel Chin
Through August 12, 2018
Chin refuses to be pinned down, hemmed in, or otherwise restricted from pursuing whatever notion fires his imagination--in whatever medium seems appropriate. Though he began his career with sculptures rooted in ancient cultures, social questions, and geopolitical issues, after a 1989 solo show at the Hirshhorn in Washington, DC, and a "living memorial" to extinct species at New York's Central Park, he changed gears, abandoning object-making for a conceptual form of art based in botany, ecology, and hands-on collaboration. Moving fluidly from sculpture, video, drawing, and painting to land-based and performance art and new media pop culture interventions, his work has no trademark style; the common thread lies in conceptual rigor, thoughtful historicism, and a concern for social justice. With more than 70 works (both inside the museum and across New York City), "All Over the Place" reflects the collaborative and viral nature of Chin's endeavors, including his first Mixed Reality work.

Web site www.queensmuseum.org


Mel Chin, KNOWMAD.
Walker Art Center- Minneapolis: Jason Moran
Through August 26, 2018
Jazz pianist, composer, and visual artist, Moran grounds his creative practice in the "set"--the space where musicians come together to converse through improvisation and to build new experiences with audiences. This experimental, often collaborative approach to art-making embraces the intersection of objects and sound, pushing beyond the limits of traditionally staged concerts or of sculpture and drawing. His first museum exhibition features sculptures, drawings, and examples of time-based media works from ongoing collaborations with Theaster Gates, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, and Kara Walker, as well as performances. STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 and STAGED: Three Deuces, mixed-media set installations created for the 2015 Venice Biennale, are joined by a new commission, which adds a third historic musical venue, Slugs' Saloon, to the mix. Though empty, each set evokes a distinct musical aura and a lost world; together, they compose an overlapping, non-linear orchestration fusing big band swing at the "Heart of Harlem," bebop, and free jazz. Conjuring the sights, sounds, and energies of these eras, they underscore the importance of freedom, place, and continuity in creativity; but the silences are equally important, echoing with the events and realities of the outside world. You don't have to rely on imagination and an iPod alone, however: musical performances will bring all three to life during the exhibition, which also coincides with the debut of Moran's new composition The Last Jazz Fest.

Web site www.walkerart.org

Jason Moran, STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco Futurefarmers
Through August 12, 2018
Futurefarmers, Flatbread Society. There seems to be no limit to the range of projects produced by Futurefarmers. For the last 23 years, the collective has found innovative, visually compelling ways to "cultivate consciousness," blending critical analysis and optimistic suggestion to tackle everything from the complicated paths of food-production networks and anti-war computer games to an on-line registry of unused arable land in San Francisco, lunch-boxes that incorporate hydrogen-producing algae, and an "urban thinkery" modeled on Simon the Shoemaker's Athens studio, where Socrates supposedly led discussions. Such peripatetic, collaborative, and of-themoment experiential projects are scarcely the stuff of traditional surveys, so "Out of Place, in Place" takes a more appropriate approach, creating a small ecosystem out of 10 existing works, a new commission, and various programs, all tied together by labor and assembly--which summarizes the group's credo: bringing people together to put things together. In this open-ended, evolutionary enterprise, art objects serve not only as relics of past projects, performances, and dialogues, but also as props/catalysts for future stories, interpretations, and actions.

Web site www.ybca.org


Futurefarmers, Flatbread Society.

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