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June 18
Vol. 37 No. 4

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.

Baltimore Museum of Art - Baltimore: Tomás Saraceno
Through July 8, 2018
Tomás Saraceno, Entangled Orbits. Saraceno confronts fatalistic views of the future with invention and imagination, "looking to the sky to escape from the reality of earth." Merging sculpture, architecture, and engineering to explore the possibility of a better world, he creates structural and theoretical proposals for sustainable systems of travel and habitation (from cloud clusters to flying gardens and space elevators). The whiff of utopianism in his approach is more than offset by the buoyant exuberance sustaining his clusters of spheres, explosions of lines, and geometric constellations. The most recent contribution to his "cloud city," Entangled Orbits, continues a project that Saraceno describes as "becoming airborne, not to fly but to float in the air at the speed of solar aerostatics, from cumulonimbus cities to the cosmic web."

Web site www.artbma.org


Tomás Saraceno, Entangled Orbits.
Belvedere 21 - Vienna: Rachel Whiteread
Through July 29, 2018
Installation view of Rachel Whiteread. Whiteread has spent almost 30 years cataloguing an inverse inventory of human life and relations, casting the space within and around objects. Set in plaster, resin, concrete, and rubber, her negative impressions of cupboards, tables, bath tubs, wash basins, beds, mattresses, stairways, rooms, and entire houses record the gaps between bodies and space-- simultaneously material and immaterial, they function like spirit sculptures, capturing emanations and memories invisible to the naked eye. This exhibition, her most substantial survey to date, ranges from early works such as Closet and Mantle (1988) to new works like Chicken Shed. In addition to intimate domestic sculptures and works on paper (which Whiteread thinks of as "a diary"), the show also features a special section devoted to her Holocaust Memorial (in Vienna's Judenplatz), as well as some of her most important largescale evocations of presence and absence, including Untitled (Book Corridors), Untitled (100 Spaces), and Untitled (Room 101), a cast of the BBC Broadcasting House room believed to be the model for "the worst thing in the world": Orwell's sinister Room 101 in 1984, where nightmares are made manifest.

Web site www.belvedere.at


Installation view of "Rachel Whiteread."
Freer|Sackler- Washington, DC: Subodh Gupta
Through June 24, 2018
Subodh
Gupta, Terminal (detail) The prosaic objects and rituals of everyday life take on a magnified status in Gupta's large-scale assemblages. Gathered together in megastructures, specifically Indian utensils and tools--from aluminum dishes and pans to milking buckets, bicycles, and shopping carts--become building blocks in a semantically witty clash between local tradition and globalized progress, spirituality and the pursuit of material gain. Gupta's versions of these artifacts aren't found, however, but re-created in stainless steel, bronze, or marble. This aggrandizing of material (and frequently of size) might confer an ironic luxury status, but it is also sincere in its elevation of basic needs and simple technologies over the accouterments of greed. Terminal, his new installation in the Sackler Pavilion, turns to a more elevated form-- the tower. Recalling the spires that rise from the mosques, temples, and churches of the world's largest religions, Gupta's brass towers (ranging up to 15 feet in height) cast off specific symbolism and affiliation; instead, they coalesce in a dense, interdependent configuration, bound together by a delicate web of thread and a narrow path that leads into the center of an almost urban complexity.

Web site www.freersackler.si.edu


Subodh Gupta, Terminal (detail), Lifespan.
HangarBicocca- Milan: Eva Kot'átková
Through July 22, 2018
Kot'átková combines installation, sculpture, collage, performance, and video to investigate the internal and external forces that influence human behavior, particularly institutionalized systems of control. "The Dream Machine is Asleep," her immersive new show, builds on the notion of the human body as a machine that requires periodic tuneups for optimal performance. Those times of rest--of sleeping and dreaming--are also the principle drivers of creativity, generating new visions and parallel worlds. To reach this promised land, however, the mind first has to negotiate and conquer the conscious world--a pilgrimage physically enacted here as viewers journey through a ravenous and chaotic Stomach of the World (2017), where they are chewed up, assimilated, and expelled. But whatever damage the world inflicts-- and, for Kot'átková, that includes every kind of phobia, trauma, and psychological disorder--the dream machine can repair. Contrasting the wide-open universe of surreal fantasy and childhood imagination with constrictive conformity, a giant bed replaces an office desk: from this command center, dreams are shaped and expression released.

Web site www.hangarbicocca.org

Eva Kot'átková, Cutting the Puppeteer's Strings with Paper Teeth (Brief History of Daydreaming and String Control).
Institute of Contemporary Art- Boston: Kevin Beasley
Through August 26, 2018
Kevin Beasley, Strange Fruit
(Pair 1) Beasley's raw and performative work explores the physical materiality and cultural connotations of objects and sounds. A hybrid of assemblage and process art, his sculptures bind personal ephemera such as discarded clothes and studio debris into archaeological aggregations held together with resin and polyurethane. Working only until the resin hardens, he strikes a balance between the inherent properties of the materials and the finished forms, which preserve embedded artifacts intact. Already referencing an absent human presence, these works frequently act as acoustic mirrors, mute in themselves but reflecting ambient and recorded sound. Though we might recognize what we see (house dresses, Air Jordans, bandanas) and hear (samples from dead rappers), these bits have been run through the mill of symbolism to transcend familiar surface identity; distilled and refined, they begin to echo a visual language that we still understand today, albeit remotely. Only an artist well versed in iconographic operations could seamlessly fuse Bernini's Chair of St. Peter and the wicker "peacock" chair of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton into a singular, profoundly ambivalent symbol of authority at the crossroads where promises of protection and redemption battle acts of ignorance and violence.

Web site www.icaboston.org


Kevin Beasley, Strange Fruit (Pair 1).
Kaiser Wilhelm Museum- Krefeld, Germany: Christian Falsnaes
Through June 24, 2018
Christian Falsnaes, ForceFalsnaes, who takes a performancebased, participatory approach to art, creates evolving scenarios, games, and stagings that blatantly expose the subtle mechanics of power. To what extent do people obey authority? When do we transgress, and why? The eight works in "FORCE," each one representing a different model of interaction between artist and viewers, extend this investigation into the relationship of master and servant, focusing on the process of communication. Collages of clothing fragments commemorate a performance in which Falsnaes compelled audience members to cut off not only his clothes, but also those of his gallery owner and two collectors. In Available, museum visitors can speak directly with the artist, but he offers nothing beyond precise instructions for moving through the galleries. The controlling hand is even stronger in Force, a staging in which visitors have to wear costumes and follow instructions, completely giving up individual identity in exchange for participation.

Web site www.kunstmuseenkrefeld.de


Christian Falsnaes, Force.
Kunsthaus Bregenz- Bregenz, Austria: Mika Rottenberg
Through July 1, 2018
Mika Rottenberg, Ponytails It's one thing to discuss the excesses and abuses of capitalism and quite another to manifest them in painfully humorous, surreal form. Rottenberg has no interest in critique or documentation; instead, she uses exaggeration, distortion, and caricature to create awkward and uncomfortable experiences. She wants "to activate a building, turn the walls into skin, and then turn them inside out." Her installations, fabricated from cardboard and found objects, set the stage for videos depicting bizarre applications of labor. From the production of cultured pearls (NoNose- Knows) to cheap wholesale goods tying together Chinese superstores and the U.S./Mexico border (Cosmic Generator), to wet wipes literally made from the sweat of others (Tropical Breeze), these scenographies lay bare the senseless absurdities of a "globalization on steroids." The spaces, however, really drive the point home: after squeezing through claustrophobic corridors and tunnels equipped with revolving doors, viewers finally reach cramped workshops, betting offices, and gloomy, anonymous chambers. Inside Rottenberg's belly of the beast, our bodies are forced to undergo a semblance of the production process right through packaging and use. We all ultimately end up as commodities to be manipulated, bought, and sold.

Web site www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at

Mika Rottenberg, Ponytails.
Museum Ludwig- Cologne: Haegue Yang
Through August 12, 2018
Haegue Yang, Mountains of
Encounter Working with customized Venetian blinds and sensory devices, lights, infrared heaters, scent emitters, and fans, Yang constructs nuanced installations that collapse the space between the concrete and the ephemeral. For over 20 years, she has explored real and metaphorical relationships between material surroundings and emotional responses, attempting to give form and meaning to experiences beyond conventional order. "ETA," her first survey exhibition, showcases her remarkable versatility with more than 120 works ranging from action-based objects to video essays, anthropomorphic light sculptures, performative pieces, and large-scale installations. Despite their rigorous and minimal abstraction, these objects and environments do not negate narrative; instead, as Yang says, "they allow a narrative to be achieved without constituting its own limits." Harmonious, yet full of dissonance, such works defy boundaries between inside and out, open and closed.

Web site www.museum-ludwig.de


Haegue Yang, Mountains of Encounter.
Park Avenue Armory- New York: Nick Cave
June 7 through July 1, 2018
Nick Cave, mock-up of
curtain for The Let Go From drill hall to dance hall--trust Cave to unravel the tight knots of military discipline and set the newly liberated strings into freewheeling motion. The Let Go, his largest installation since the monumental Until, grants much-needed permission to relax ironclad control over the frustrations, anxieties, and fears bedeviling almost every aspect of life these days. In Until, Cave let loose a primal scream disguised as bling; here, everyone gets a go at catharsis: vent, let your hair down, channel all that suppressed anger and disgust into the sheer joy of physical release--just let it go. Visitors can enjoy various daytime events, with yoga practitioners, hulahoopers, church choirs, and dancers leading games of Twister, Soul Train lines, and other encounters--all presided over by a swaying and gliding, giant sculptural curtain and music curated by New York's leading DJs. On weekday evenings, Cave orchestrates "Up Right" performances that begin with "practitioners" dressing and resculpting the bodies of "initiates" in soundsuits. Another cleansing of mind, body, and spirit, this piece-by-piece ritual transformation puts participants into another skin, another identity where selfhood can shape itself without normative definitions. "Feat.," a more sedate version of the Cave experience on view at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville through June 24, features 10 recent soundsuits, psychedelic textile installations, a massive projection of the soundsuit-centric film Blot, and several sculptures originally shown in the 2014 "Made By Whites For Whites" exhibition.

Web site www.armoryonpark.org


Nick Cave, mock-up of curtain for The Let Go.
Philadelphia Museum of Art - Philadelphia: Jean Shin
Through July 15, 2018
Jean
Shin, installation view of Collections. Shin's installations give new life to the castoffs of consumer society. Scavenging discarded objects such as worn shoes, lost socks, broken umbrellas, and old lottery tickets, she dismantles, alters, and reconstructs them into elaborate assemblages of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seemingly identical objects. "Collections" features six large-scale installations created since 2000, including Worn Soles, an unfurling topography of detached shoe soles set in patterns of mass movement; Unraveling, a dense, brightly colored web of woolen threads pulled from donated sweaters that traces relationships within the Asian American arts community; and Armed, a tattered mosaic of U.S. military uniforms whose various camouflage patterns designed for conflicts in different landscapes around the world testify to a pervasive and far-from-invisible presence.

Web site www.philamuseum.org


Jean Shin, installation view of "Collections."
Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, DC: Do Ho Suh
Through August 5, 2018
Do Ho Suh, Fire Extinguisher, Unit G5, 23 Wenlock Road, Union Wharf, London, N1 7SB UK.Suh's installations capture the emotional tensions of displacement: belonging while being alien, at home while longing for "home." His architectural sculptures start "from a reflection on space, especially personal space--not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one." That identification of self with place infuses not only the spaces we call home, but also those objects and bits of hardware that we handle daily. The works in "Almost Home" may record the specificities of Suh's life, but their resonance is universal. Fabric copies of sinks, toilets, latch sets, and hinges, removed from their context, isolated, and displayed as "Specimens," elevate ordinary items into uncanny familiars, emphasizing the intimacy of our contact with them. A largescale "Hub" construction puts these details back in situ, morphing corridors lifted from his parents' house in South Korea and various abodes in New York and Europe into a single ghostly passageway. Rendered in jewel-tones of gossamer fabric, complete with heating pipes, ductwork, switches, and radiators, this splicedtogether space of transition maps a life's journey, the self as memory. Suh's work also reveals a trace of salvage yard nostalgia, unexpectedly paying homage to the character of place beyond the self, recording buildings, ornaments, and artifacts that will soon dissolve into the past.

Web site https://americanart.si.edu


Do Ho Suh, Fire Extinguisher, Unit G5, 23 Wenlock Road, Union Wharf, London, N1 7SB UK.
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