All posts tagged: exhibition

The Threads that Bind Us

In the home of an unknown Belgian collector, Ghada Amer’s work, La Belle Au Bois Dormant (1995) dances alone. The instillation consists of a white dress, a red dress, a chair, a mannequin and a music box. The red dress is entirely deflated, while the white dress appears starched and up right. The white dress hangs on a headless mannequin that has been rigged to spin in slow circles, constantly rotating the dress. The viewer gets the sense that the dress was made for the mannequin, not for an actual woman. While the red dress is entirely flat and has no sheen, the white dress appears to be glowing. The white dress is made from a heavy-weighted silk and the threads that embroider the dress interrupt the material’s radiance. Although the embroidery on the dress holds the complete text of the children’s fairy tail, The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault, the exposed threads make the letters almost entirely illegible.1 What makes this work so mesmerizing is how Amer transforms these five ordinary objects into a …

Couturier Lafargue’s Earthworks: Asbestos and Copper at The University of Rochester, February 2014

Couturier Lafargue, Camping in the asbestos mine, 2013. In 2013, Canadian artists Louis Couturier and Jacky George Lafargue, who make up the collaborative duo known as Couturier Lafargue, spent four days and three nights in an open pit mine in Asbestos, a town located in southeastern Quebec whose name derives from the eponymous mineral it was famed for producing. The Jeffrey mine, which had once been the world’s leading producer of asbestos, had ceased operations in 2011. During their visit to the mine, the artists hiked their way around the enormous space, researched its composite materials, and took video, photographic, and audio footage that would eventually form the basis for installations inspired by the landscape of the mine that include sculpture, video, and large-format photographs. These modular installations, which the duo titled Asbestos Country (Terre d’amiante), offer a sobering investigation into the impacts of industrialization on the Québécois landscape and its surrounding community, and open up questions relating to the ways we engage with otherwise forgotten or overlooked locations. Couturier Lafargue presented an iteration of …

Al-Mutanabbi Street: Start The Conversation

Right now al-Mutanabbi street starts somewhere on a small street in Gaza, and in Damascus, on a small street in Beijing, a small street in Tehran. It starts in Baghdad, Beirut, and Cairo, it starts in Dublin, Calgary, Halifax, London, Exeter, and Bristol, and here in San Francisco, Santa Fe, Boston, Los Angeles, Omaha, New York City, Washington D.C.,Cambridge, Mass. or Detroit, Michigan. It starts at the Rochester Central Library, and at Goddard College in Vermont. It starts wherever someone gathers their thoughts to write towards the truth, or where someone sits down and opens a book to read. Wherever the free exchange of ideas is suppressed or attacked, wherever writers and artists are silenced, or risk their lives to speak the truth through their work, there will be a place for them on al-Mutanabbi Street. – Beau Beausoleil, July 2014 In March 2007, a suicide bomber exploded his car in Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, Iraq, killing thirty people and injuring more than a hundred. The street, named after Abu at-Tayyib Al-Mutanabbi, a renowned classical …

“The Craft of Modernity” Reviewed: Amelia Pelaez at PAMM

Marañones (Cashews), 1939-40. Courtesy of the Amelia Peláez Foundation The Perez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM) opened to the public in December with two inaugural shows. One is Ai Wei Wei’s expansive “According to What?” which features pieces slightly the worse for wear after a blockbuster 2012-13 North American tour (the 3,000 piled ceramic river crabs that make up He Xie are a short a few legs since I saw them in Toronto in August). The other is “The Craft of Modernity,” a solo show of paintings and ceramics by twentieth century Cuban artist Amelia Peláez. It features both important, beautiful art, and curation gone horribly wrong. But before I get to that, let me say that almost everything else about PAMM is so right. Its Herzog and de Meuron-designed building is both innovative and inviting, a set of textured wood and concrete planes perched on the edge of Biscayne Bay. The new museum is eager to introduce American visitors to the art of Latin America and the Caribbean. Its fledgling permanent collection includes a few stray (though lovely) works by …

Interview with Ivan Gaskell

On April 5, 2013, Ivan Gaskell delivered the keynote address of the University of Rochester’s ninth Visual and Cultural Studies conference: “A Matter of Time: Temporalities of Material Culture.” In his whimsically titled speech,”Buds, Bugs, and Bird Skulls: Do Such Things Perdure?”, Gaskell offered a poignant reflection on the various mechanisms immanent to the museum, bringing attention to a number of objects, beautiful and initially mystifying, that challenged the entrenched conventions of curation. We at InVisible Culture had the immense fortune to sit down with Ivan during the conference weekend for a more intimate look into his thinking, and to conduct the interview you see here.Over the coming year, we plan on releasing a number of additional interviews, each featuring an exciting thinker who participates in a discourse different than that of the scholar before it. Special thanks are due to Ivan Gaskell for granting this interview, and our parent institution, the University of Rochester, for its continual support over the years. – Video produced by Paul Thomas Rubery Interviewer: Eitan Freedenberg Shot and Edited …

Announcement Concerning Film and Exhibition Reviews

IVC is expanding its reviews section! InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal of Visual Culture (IVC) now welcomes film and exhibition reviews from emerging and established scholars and critics in addition to book reviews. IVC accepts both contemporary and historical works of film criticism. Submissions that engage with current academic and popular discourses in film, media, visual and cultural studies and place particular aspects of film and filmmaking within broader social, political, and historical contexts are especially encouraged. For exhibition reviews, IVC invites work that addresses the organization, presentation, and curatorial rationale of a particular exhibition. Exhibition reviews should also consider how viewers engage with the exhibition, focusing on specific artworks and themes within the exhibition. Comparative reviews and critical essays on histories, theories, and practices of artmaking, exhibition, and curatorial models – i.e. biennials, retrospectives, social practice in the public sphere, politics of display, etc. – are also welcomed.All submissions should be between 1000 and 1500 words, and should follow IVC style guidelines. Only original, previously unpublished submissions will be considered. For more information and for IVC’s reviews call for submissions, please visit the contribute section of our …