giovedì 16 aprile 2009

Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, exhibit at MAD (NY)

Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, the new exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City, reflects the museums own recycling and redesign of its current building, the former "Lollipop Building" at 2 Columbus Circle designed by Huntington Hartford in 1964. Featuring work from 50 international artists who create sculptures, and installations from ordinary found objects and recyclable materials, the exhibit explores how contemporary artists view the world unfolding before them and respond to the global culture of consumerism.

This critique of contemporary values draws parallels the Dada art movement from the early 20th century, especially the "ready-made" sculptures of Charles Duchamp. Dada was the first movement to show that art can be angry, mundane, aggressive, and/ or disturbing in order to critique contemporary values and social conventions. Charles Duchamp's " ready-mades" eliminated the initial function of the objects by taking them out of their normal location and context, such as his famous "Fountain", an upside down urinal signed R. Mutt.

Some highlights form the show include:

Susie Mac Murray's "A Mixture of Frailties"
Familiar standard rubber gloves used for washing dishes and other household chores are recycled by the artist to create a six-foot tall, elaborately constructed wedding gown, questioning the relationship between "women's work" and the cultural display of women's bodies.

Paul Villinski's "My Back Pages"
Inspired by Arlo Guthrie's 1969 song " My Front Pages", the artist uses records collected over the course of thirty years to construct a flock of vinyl butterflies ascending the gallery wall creating what he describes as " the soundtrack of my life."

Do Ho Suh's "Metal Jacket"
May be referring to U.S./Korea relations with his kimono style jacket created by thousands of stainless steel military dog tags. While each tag identifies a person, the individuality is lost, merging to create an impermeable metal armor, symbol of the façade of military power.

Courtney Smith's "Psichê Complexo"
This work uses several pieces of early twentieth century Brazilian bedroom furniture, whose individual elements have been cut and rebuilt in order to fold and collapse into one central body. This allows them to be stored within the container for storage or unfolded into the environment.

Benedetto Botturi, Tatiana Fonti, Elisa Leggieri, Emilia Manfredi, Paola Miranda Morales, Francesca Palli, Mariana Rietti, Ornella Sottile