This week: The AMANDA BROWDER SHOW! Amanda and Tom start 2010 off with an interview with Miami artists Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz about their collective Guerra de la Paz (awesome composite of their names) about their work, and how clothing can be more than just a shell over one person’s nubile body..but a story and a basis for sculptural exploration.
Then, Mike Benedetto returns!!! He offers up a meditation on Steven Seagal, Lawman.
Guerra de la Paz is the composite name of Cuban born, American artist duo Alain Guerra (born 1968) and Neraldo de la Paz (born 1955), who have been collaborating since 1996. They are based in Miami.
Guerra was born in Havana and de le Paz in Matanzas. Guerra de la Paz work in sculpture, installation and photography. Their work references the politics of modern conflict and consumerism alongside symbols of faith; they often use old clothing to build their sculptures.
Richard Hunt’s terrific sculpture show at David Weinberg Gallery closed last weekend, but if you missed it there’s another powerful selection of Hunt’s work from the past 20 years on view at G.R. N’Namdi Gallery.
David Weinberg’s space, the smaller of the two galleries, showed off the many paradoxical elements of Hunt’s sculptures in a surprisingly effective manner. When I first walked in to that exhibition, the room felt overly crowded to the extent that I feared one of sculptures’ edges might actually jab me (or I it). But it quickly became clear that, physically at least, there was plenty of room for all of us.
Hunt’s work is full of surprises like that. Eluding easy formal classifications, his sculptures can’t adequately be described as organic, nor are they exactly technological in nature. They’re somewhere in between the two, where spiraling forms evoke the flow of waves or the whir of circular blades. One sculpture at N’Namdi recalls a stack of bones, human and otherwise; others have sharp, protruding hooks. The lines of Hunt’s sculptures alternate between curving and jagged, their movement sometimes vertical, sometimes lateral, but always, always upwards.
Stacks of things frequently rest atop stacks of other things, as if someone were trying to build a stairway to heaven by piling object upon object as high as the whole thing will go–an implausible and impossibly graceful agglomeration of broken wings, torn dorsal fins, discarded hand tools and shards of bone.
Hunt’s sculptures may reach upwards, but they’re far from dreamy. The often rapid transitions from one form to another doesn’t suggest rebirth or regeneration so much as an effort to fit together, sometimes clumsily, that which already exists. In this Hunt’s forms evoke the forward movement of history (be it an individual’s or a nation’s) as something precariously and pragmatically achieved, in fits and starts, over time.
The show is at G.R. N’Namdi Gallery (110 N. Peoria, Chicago, 312-563-9240) through June 30th.
Dubai’s new idea is a massive sculpture called “Al Hakawati” The Storyteller. This towering figure will be a home of stories; a children’s library in its base and various spaces for performance and reading inside of the statue. Not only will it house stories but will also tell stories.
Yes, Al Hakawati will have both articulate arms and head. While it moves the arms and head it will broadcast via small speakers located throughout the park the tales it tells.
The head of the statue will house a golden room that overlooks the city and whose purpose is currently unknown but speculation is that it will be a discotheque.
From the “Don’t Tase me Bro” incident to the Raping and murder of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi by Pte. Green, Automata can capture a moment unlike anything else. Jon Haddock’s work does that better then anything i have seen in a long while.
Brian Dettmer’s sculptures are like steampunk versions of data clouds. Treating books as if they were bodies under investigation (the word ‘autopsy’ comes up frequently in discussions of this artist’s work), Dettmer expertly fillets them, foregrounding certain pictures, words, and illustrations while excising others in order to highlight previously unnoticed relationships. The results are densely layered bibliophilic wunderkammer that are truly incredible to behold.
Dettmer’s cuts are surgically precise, but they’re also curatorial in nature. By transforming books into objects of pure contemplation and display, Dettmer destroys their ability to be useful in the manner they once were. At the same time, he invests them with new signifying potential. In this case, bodies of knowledge are made to display their own viscera in a simultaneous rather than sequential manner; it’s not exactly like how we experience the Internet, but it certainly evokes it.
Dettmer’s books can be surprisingly provocative, too, stirring up all kinds of nostalgia, reverence, and even guilt about the fate of printed matter in the age of the iPhone, the Kindle, and the Vook. In the catalogue essay, portions of which have been excerpted in the gallery’s press release, Antonia Pocock argues that Dettmer’s book carvings “represent an impulse to resuscitate the tangible records of information that appear dead when faced with the dynamic, instantly adaptable media of the information era. Under Dettmer’s hand, the rigid rectangle of the book dissolves into a chaos of new data connections.”
Dettmer focus isn’t solely on text, however. It’s equally enamored of illustration, which in Dettmer’s preferred choice of books–mostly of the encyclopedic or instructional kind–take the form of intricate woodcuts, line drawings, and schematics along with various forms of cartography. The Web is filled with images, but it’s not an illustrator’s medium. The three dimensionality of Dettmer’s sculpturalized books reminds us of how the internet and the computer screen tend to flatten images, obliterating shadow and fine detail and making hand-drawn efforts largely irrelevant.
The exhibition also includes a two-channel video downstairs which provides insight into Dettmer’s painstaking working process. Thankfully, the videos leave a lot of the how-to’s unanswered, which keeps the mystery of it all alive. I didn’t want Dettmer’s process to be totally transparent –where’s the fun in that? Instead, they remain, for me at least, Carrollian follies so strange and alluring I wanted to shrink myself down, crawl inside them, and explore.
Brian Dettmer’s “Adaptations” will be on view at Packer Schopf Gallery through May 9th.