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October 2018
Vol. 37 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.

Art Gallery of Ontario - Toronto: Rebecca Belmore
Through October 21, 2018
Rebecca Belmore, Tower One of today's most important artists working along the border of art and politics, Belmore has spent the last 30 years remembering the forgotten, listening to the marginal, and speaking the silenced. Using a range of media--from performance and video to sculpture--she forges a unique alliance between aesthetic beauty and social critique aimed at reversing the cultural and political exile of First Nations perspectives from modern life. Lyrical forms and images like flowing water, the tranquility of snow, the beauty of youth, and the eternity of marble pair with issues of Indigenous rights, women's lives and dignity, racial violence, and the displacement of populations to form unsettling dualities. "Facing the Monumental," which opens with the in-your-face provocation of Fountain (a peaceful flow of water shattered by a projection of Belmore throwing a bucket of blood directly at the viewer), features three new large-scale works, as well as three of her Wave Sound sculptures (created for four sites in Canada's national parks)--all of which continue her lifelong commitment to making us hear and reconnect with the land while respecting all of its peoples.

Web site

Afruz Amighi, Nameless.
Bombas Gens Centre d'Art - Valéncia, Spain: Hamish Fulton
Through November 4, 2018
Hamish Fulton, exhibition view
of Walking on the Iberian Peninsula. Though Fulton has been variously classified as a sculptor, photographer, conceptual, or land artist, he prefers to call himself a "walking artist." Since 1973 he has committed himself to the principle of "no walk, no work." "Walking on the Iberian Peninsula" focuses on 16 of these walks, undertaken between 1979 and 2016 through continental Spain, the Canary Islands, and Portugal, bringing together a selection of works created during or in their aftermath, from photographs and drawings to sculptures. A series of wall texts, some of them made specifically for the exhibition, conceptualize the direction and duration of his walks in a wider context. Neither documents nor descriptions, these compositions of pictures and words allow viewers to enter into the experience of walking as a creative and collaborative endeavor. Seemingly simple, Fulton's expressions reveal a complex and singleminded practice that has evolved independently of fashion. He makes no works on the land, nor does he remove objects from it for display in the gallery. The most low-impact of artists, he leaves no trace behind.

Web site

Hamish Fulton, exhibition view of "Walking on the Iberian Peninsula."
Fondazione Prada - Milan: Laura Lima
Through October 22, 2018
Laura Lima, Telescope "Poetry, reason, secrets, madness, existence, and power" inform Lima's unique blend of performance, sculpture, and installation. Inspired by human social dynamics, her work undermines everyday life, questioning how we get along with others and the role played by objects in our relationships. By transforming living humans, animals, and familiar objects and putting them into (museum) environments where they don't belong, she sets up situations that border on the alienated: iconic mid-century chairs transformed into wheelchairs probe the health of Modernist ideas; bathroom mirrors held in the hands of invisible strangers (apparently hidden behind walls) raise the specter of surveillance; and a tailor shop making bespoke suits for frames exposes the superficiality of portraiture. "Horse Takes King," her new three-part intervention, is less obviously strange. But this illusory chess game, in which movements appear free and undetermined, is masterminded by the same inscrutable and illogical hand. A crash-landed bird carcass, a painting machine reproducing the movement of Foucault's pendulum, and a 10- meter-tall structure hosting astronomy classes coalesce into an experiential version of a "syzygy"--a straight-line configuration of multiple bodies in a gravitational system. Lima's version, however, exchanges the stability of rules and foreseeable outcomes for irrationality and the pleasure of absurdity carried into reality--here, only the potentialities of creative chaos are certain.

Web site

Laura Lima, Telescope
Guggenheim Bilbao - Bilbao: Joana Vasconcelos
Through November 11, 2018
Joana Vasconcelos,
Call Center Vasconcelos brings a highly personal perspective to opulence, drawing out feminine and operatic overtones that breathe a larger-than-life animation into moribund forms. Her work may be bold, brash, and contemporary, but her brand of luxe gigantism resonates with something older and deeper than the recent past. Reveling in sensory details of texture, color, and material, her dramatic installations and sculptures cut across time and cultures, skillfully translating high and low, private and public, into unanticipated critiques of social ills. Yet even in a chandelier made of tampons, beauty, sensuality, and a profound understanding of tradition trump militant protest, restoring the artful (and pleasurable) language of nuance, irony, and ridicule. With 30 works produced between the 1990s and today, "I'm Your Mirror" transposes the ghosts of a lost world into the present day, teaching us subtle lessons about reality, symbolism, absolute power, and the pitfalls of uncompromising idealism.

Web site

Joana Vasconcelos, Call Center.
Institut Valenciá d'Art Modern - Valencia: Annette Messager
Through November 4, 2018
Annette Messager, Uterus-doigt d'honneur.Alternating between quiet conceptualism and graphic expressionism, Messager fragments and re-catalogues images, everyday objects, and language to explore the concept of fiction, the dialogue between individual and collective identity, and perhaps most importantly, codes of morality and normalcy, particularly as applied to women. Her drawings, albums, assemblages, and installations all avoid "noble materials" in order to materialize a contrarian mode of thinking and doing that escapes the mandates of patriarchal tradition. Everything from beloved children's toys to photographs, to pieces of embroidery, stuffed birds, and seemingly unambiguous words can be transformed into objects of potent expression, shifting "great discourses" toward real life and individual existence, with its needs, desires, and preoccupations. Reclassified, these "little things" form the vocabulary of a personal language in which reality and fantasy converge. As the works in "Pudique--Publique" demonstrate, Messager cuts the apron strings of craftwork, freeing it to become an eloquent tool of artistic agency.

Web site

Annette Messager, Uterus-doigt d'honneur.
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen - St. Gallen, Switzerland: Olaf Nicolai
Through November 11, 2018
Nicolai's installations perform delicate conceptual balancing acts. The merging of opposed ideas and forces has become a signature gesture in his work, whether the equation weighs socialism against capitalism, hedonism against idealism, icons against individuals, or matches against trees. The deciding factor is participation: in each work, viewers enter a sculptural stage where they enact the role of Homo Ludens, combining extremes through play. "That's A God-Forsaken Place; But It's Beautiful, Isn't It?" explores one of the most complex themes in art history-- the landscape, that mediated representation of nature as seen through the lens of culture. A new installation at the Lokremise St. Gallen plunges viewers into a desert of barren sands, sculpted by arbitrary winds of geological and geopolitical change. This bleak, ambiguous place offers the possibilities of a heterotopia, where orthodoxy can be disputed and challenged--if we have enough imagination. Nicolai lights the fuse in several ways: grasping a hand-sized meteorite in this otherworldly setting might just be enough to recalibrate our approach to the environment on this planet. And if it isn't, Echo, a chamber of transparent glass rain/teardrops, refocuses assumed polarities--between isolation and belonging, closeness and distance, the self and its surroundings-- into single points of fusion.

Web site

Rashid Johnson, Untitled.
Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux - Bordeaux: Danh Vo
Through October 28, 2018
Danh Vo, Untitled. Vo's new site-specific installation marks a departure, though it still draws connections between personal and collective histories. This time, his host building--the historic Entrepôt Lainé--comes to the fore. Referencing both a cathedral and a storage facility, his intervention invites viewers to build their own narratives around an enigmatic arrangement of marble. Inspired by a trip to Rome and the quarries of Carrara (accompanied by Renaissance art historian Patricia Falguiéres)--a journey through human history and geological time--Vo became fascinated by the labor required to extract marble, but chose not to replicate it himself. Instead, he brings together impressive fragments of various ages to weigh the price paid by both humans and the planet in the pursuit of mastery through beauty. His 30 marble blocks (most of which were quarried in the 1930s) display photographs of various hands sculpted by an artist synonymous with marble and the politics of art--the "divine" Michelangelo. The installation's sheer mass and monumentality evoke a particular interpretation of power and of masculinity obsessed with dominance--over people and over resources. As Vo's work constantly reminds us, these models are not the only option; we alone are responsible for our choices, and we alone decide whether or not to assume the roles assigned to us by society. The same applies to our actions and judgments.

Web site

Danh Vo, Untitled.
Schirn Kunsthalle - Frankfurt: Neïl Beloufa
Through October 28, 2018
Neïl Beloufa, Sustainable Development Seamlessly blending moving image and sculpture, Beloufa lures viewers into a no-man's land on the border between fiction and reality. Within his environments, projections become objects, obstructing and consciously framing the viewing experience. Visible cables and cords, in addition to live, closed-circuit television feeds of the space, muddy the waters further, confusing the artistic, the technological, and the social. Then there are the projections themselves, created in collaboration with amateur and professional actors, who improvise on a panoply of enigmatic subjects, ranging from extraterrestrials to nationalism, terrorism, and consumerism. His new installation, Global Agreement, which uses real subjects instead of actors, explores the staging of power as expressed through military culture, fitness, beauty, and the cult of the body. Collaged video interviews with male and female soldiers run on monitors dispersed throughout a labyrinthine structure, but their purpose is far from documentary; instead, they become an object lesson in manipulation, undermining reason and perception by conflating truth and falsehood.

Web site

Neïl Beloufa, Sustainable Development.
Storm King Art Center Mountainville - New York: Indicators: Artists on Climate Change
Through November 11, 2018
Gabriela Salazar, Matters in Shelter (and Place, Puerto Rico). "Indicators" brings together works by 17 artists who engage with the scientific, cultural, and personal challenges that we all face as the effects of climate change make themselves felt across the world. Taking a local approach to a global crisis, many participants use Storm King's landscape and ecosystem to address broader issues impacting the environment, global climate trends, and human ways of life. From cast bronze "fossils" that will survive long after their originals decay back into the earth to new plantings that reflect the displacement and migration of tree species, to a structure that encapsulates threats to agriculture and livelihoods, these works expose, interpret, and weigh the often-conflicting options for action in precarious situations. Featured artists, including David Brooks, Dear Climate, Mark Dion, Justin Brice Guariglia, Allison Janae Hamilton, Mary Mattingly, Mike Nelson, Gabriela Salazar, and Meg Webster, invite us to think afresh about our behaviors and assumptions.

Web site

Gabriela Salazar, Matters in Shelter (and Place, Puerto Rico).

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