In Practice Fall '04

    In Practice Fall '04

    Sep 12–Nov 29, 2004

    Jane Benson, Ian Burns, Chris Caccamise, Digital Mullet, Hope Ginsburg, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Kent Henricksen, and Thomas Kotik
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    The works in this exhibition are commissioned through SculptureCenter's In Practice project series, which supports the creation and presentation of innovative work by emerging artists. The projects are selected individually and reflect the diversity of approaches to contemporary sculpture.

    Jane Benson's Occupied (2004) follows the artist's interest in the relationship between decoration and deception. For this site-specific work, the artist installs a wooden door with gothic-shaped stained-glass window panels within a built façade. With abstract fluid shapes and different shades of green and brown, the glass is a camouflage pattern, creating a subtle linkage between the religious and the militaristic. The religious icons and images, usually found in stained glass instead become markers of inaccessibility, invisibility, and subterfuge.

    Ian Burns presents Machinery of Surveillance (2004), a new installation for SculptureCenter's lower-level galleries. Part amusement-park ride, this kinetic construction asks visitors to travel past a central structure on a mechanical chair. The participant sees a succession of small screen-based scenes, each one potentially a fragment of a larger storyline. Without a clear narrative, the images, combined with the mechanical device, convey a sense of technological absurdity, nostalgia, and paranoia. Made entirely of found objects and rudimentary hardware, Burns uses simple optical principles to form awkward images out of shadows, suggesting ways the mundane can lead to the magical, and how innocence yields to the dangerous.

    Chris Caccamise's work evokes a world of memory, childhood toys, and inside jokes. His painted paper constructions are colorful, happy, cartoon-like sculptures: volcanoes, rainbows, waterfalls, bridges, or trailer-trucks that morph into abstract geometric forms and back again. At SculptureCenter, Caccamise creates an all-encompassing imaginary world of clouds, buildings, cars, planes, and mountains. While each object derives from the artist's own personal and private system of references, viewers merge their memories with his and set the works into motion, each one becoming a starting-point for new associations and forgotten dreams.

    Digital Mullet (Andrew Duchossois, Matt Mansbach, Andrew Massetta, and Matt Richards) presents a multi-media, multi-purpose, and multi-colored installation of works. With members of the group living in New York City and rural Ohio, Digital Mullet brings to SculptureCenter the self-deprecating hopes and dreams of Midwestern artists seeking an artistic outlet, caught between pseudo-urbanity and rural pride. In the lower-level galleries, their installation features a psychedelic listening booth for a self-released compact disc, a music video, handcrafted instruments, a tree of leaf-shaped beer cans, landscape paintings, and wall-sized collages. A handmade mailbox is stuffed with envelopes addressed to major recording and broadcasting companies, complete with copies of the Digital Mullet DVD and CD, introductory letters, and an autographed picture of the band.

    In the fall of 2003, Hope Ginsburg left her job doing environmental product research for a textile company in order to continue to explore the connections between art and the organic processes at Spring Hills Farm, a 400-acre organic farm and retreat in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Ginsburg will share the first phase of the project with SculptureCenter's audience in the form of a live presentation and conversation. The distribution of an information booklet created in collaboration with the farm will accompany the event.

    Sabrina Gschwandtner joins two materials - film and textile - to create a space that is sculptural as well as cinematic. Inspired by SculptureCenter's 44.5-foot long lower-level gallery, Crochet Film (2004) is a site-specific installation that explores the duration and movement of a projected image as it collapses into the immobility of a tactile object. The artist has created a 3-minute-long 16mm film measuring 89 feet (exactly double the length of the gallery) depicting herself crocheting an 89-foot film strip replica out of wool yarn, an object that took nearly 10 hours to create. The actual film stretches from a projector to the opposite end of the space and loops back to the projector, with the crocheted replica installed nearby, merging space and material.

    Kent Henricksen presents Patterns of Behavior (2004), a site-specific installation in SculptureCenter's lower-level space. Henricksen covers a 20 foot wall with Toile de Jouy fabric, which he has embroidered to alter the typical, pastoral theme. Hoods and ropes are added to the traditional patterns popular with Marie Antoinette and contemporary socialites, and scenes of light-hearted innocence become dark vignettes of sadism and emotional aggression, bad dreams layered overtop the surface of good ones. Henricksen's work constructs a field of surfaces: architecture becomes pattern, pattern gives way to framed canvases, which in turn become places for threaded drawing. The framing of the embroidered images highlights them within the repetitive pattern, and simultaneously fetishizes the hand-made.

    Tom Kotik's recent work utilizes a hybrid language of minimalism and heavy metal music. In Squeezed (2004), a new work for SculptureCenter, the artist constructs a nearly-sound-proof box, barely fitting its intimate exhibition space, squeezed in between the stone arches of the gallery. An installation of domestic carpeting - on the floor as well as on the object itself - emphasizes a monochromatic furniture-like rigidity. From within comes a sound, contained but struggling to erupt: the artist's explosive aesthetic as a hard-rock musician collides with the restraint of formalist shape to create a space caught half-way between recklessness, rigor, and nostalgic calm.


    SculptureCenter's exhibitions and public programs are supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and The Lily Auchincloss Foundation.