Slater Bradley (American, b. 1975) is best known for his “Doppelgänger Trilogy” from the early 2000s, in which he cast his own spitting image, model Benjamin Brock, to impersonate Ian Curtis, Michael Jackson, and Kurt Cobain in performances viewers might assume were Bradley himself—an exploration of the cult of celebrity and the mythology of images.
Premiering at the Johnson Museum, Bradley’s new two-channel video “Sequoia” (2013; two-channel HD video installation with sound, 2:17 min.) elaborates on such alienating chains of reflections. Channeling Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958) and Chris Marker’s “La Jetée” (1962), obsession and memory are major themes of Bradley’s recent work. For “My Conclusion/My Necessity” (2006; single-channel video installation with sound, 6:39 min.), also in the exhibition, the artist convinced a mother and daughter to reenact their performance of putting on lipstick and kissing Oscar Wilde’s tombstone in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, set to a soundtrack by indie rock band Unwound. While it continues Bradley’s interest in the sometimes tragic fan-idol relationship, this coming-of-age video is also a symbol for life’s confrontation with death, a major element of Bradley’s large-scale photo-drawings. The group of drawings on view will feature the artist’s muses Ida and Alina surrounded by obsessive gold or silver marks in the shape of tree rings—which, of course, recall the famous scene in “Vertigo” shot at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, setting into motion the never-ending circles of doomed desire.
This exhibition will be curated by Andrea Inselmann, the curator of modern and contemporary art and photography at the Johnson Museum.
beyond earth art • contemporary artists and the environment
Jan 25 - Jun 8, 2014
Looking back to Cornell's 1969 “Earth Art” exhibition and exploring how contemporary artists have taken “the environment” as a subject
In 1969 the legendary “Earth Art” exhibition took place at Cornell University. A new kind of exhibition, curated by Willoughby Sharp, it presented site-specific installations by nine international artists. These installations, scattered around the Cornell campus and the surrounding Ithaca landscape, responded in part to consumerism, mass media, and the insularity of art in the late 1960s, but were also shown in the context of a developing international environmental movement. It is at this intersection—where art meets life—that the influence of the 1960s earth artists has perhaps had the most significant impact on a current generation of artists working on issues related to the environment and sustainability.
Reaching across disciplines, artists are helping to raise awareness for protecting the world’s natural resources. By making the invisible visible artists can challenge existing perceptions of reality. With metaphor, humor, and direct action, artists are able to represent ideas and reveal patterns often hidden beneath the surface by merging rational observation with beauty, creativity, and inspiration.
Comprising separate installations and exhibitions that address issues related to the representation of landscape, water supply, food justice, recycling, fair distribution of natural resources, and the nature/culture divide, “beyond earth art • contemporary artists and the environment” will be on view in all of the Johnson Museum’s temporary exhibition galleries and lobbies, as well as outside the Museum on the façade and grounds. The work included operates in the gap between the objectivity of scientific data, and the subjectivity of creative expression signaling the interconnectedness of the themes addressed in this Museum-wide project.
Participating artists will include Ansel Adams, Michael Ashkin, Brandon Ballengée, Anna Betbeze, Janet Biggs, Matthew Brandt, Troy Brauntuch, Edward Burtynsky, Adam Cvijanovic, Blane De St. Croix, Mark Dion, Chris Doyle, Jack Elliot, Rose-Lynne Fisher, Noriko Furunishi, Dionisio González, Christian Houge, Yun-Fei Ji, Chris Jordan, David LaChapelle, Maya Lin, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Maria Park, Eliot Porter, Maggie Puckett, Lucy Raven, Reynold Reynolds, Alexis Rockman, Allan Sekula, Superflex, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Marion Wilson, and Yang Yi.
The exhibition “Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta,” curated by c2 | curatorsquared and organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, will also be on view as part of the “beyond earth art” project.
Materials related to the 1969 “Earth Art” exhibition will also be presented, alongside works from the permanent collection by some of the “Earth Art” artists, including Dennis Oppenheim and Robert Smithson, as well as others who were working in a similar mode in the 1970s and ’80s, including Agnes Denes, Patricia Johanson, Ana Mendieta, and Michelle Stuart.
“beyond earth art • contemporary artists and the environment” is curated by Andrea Inselmann, curator of modern and contemporary art & photography at the Johnson Museum.
Jan 25 - Jun 8, 2014
Presented as part of the “beyond earth art” project, Lucy + Jorge Orta explore major concerns that define the 21st century
“Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta” is presented at the Johnson Museum as part of the “beyond earth art” project. Organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, it is the first comprehensive exhibition of work by Lucy + Jorge Orta in the United States.
The sculptures, drawings, installations, and video by French wife-husband duo Lucy + Jorge Orta explore major concerns that define the twenty-first century—biodiversity, environmental conditions, climate change, and exchange among peoples. As heirs to the practice of social sculpture, formulated by the German artist/activist Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, the Ortas’s works are relics of their own function—captivating assemblages that are the platform for the preparation of food and mechanisms that actually purify water. Other elements were created for a 2007 expedition to Antarctica that are part of an effort to amend the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The featured works are metaphors-in-action, constructions that perform the tasks of which they are emblematic.
These humorous, jerrybuilt contraptions are obviously not the most efficient means to purify, prepare, and transport food and water, or to launch a worldwide humanitarian effort, but in their ability to actually function, albeit awkwardly and haltingly, they gain power as works of art created to move us. The artists have created a unique visual language through which they tackle the major global issues affecting our lives and the precarious position of this planet.
Working in partnership since 2005, Lucy + Jorge Orta create, produce, and assemble their artworks and large installations together with a team of artists, designers, architects, and craftspeople. Their work has been the focus of important survey exhibitions in major museums, including the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the Modern Art Museum in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, and Hangar Bicocca in Milan, as well as the Venice, Havana, and Johannesburg Biennales.
After a U.S. premier at the Tufts University Art Gallery, “Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta” has travelled to the Zilkha Gallery, Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University, and will be on view at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center at DePauw University in 2015. It was curated by Judith Hoos Fox and Ginger Gregg Duggan (c2 | curatorsquared).
The presentation of this exhibition at the Johnson Museum was organized by Andrea Inselmann, curator of modern and contemporary art & photography. This inaugurates an annual exhibition endowed in memory of Elizabeth Francis Miller.
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