Sunday, 31 May 2009

Exhuming Gluttony: A Lover's Requiem

I am going back a bit now to 1996 to take a look at a project undertaken by architect and artist. I am interested in role of the architect in regards to modern art. There has been a lot of talk about the 4th Dimension coming out of places like Brooklyn, Berlin and London. This idea is not new, in fact it goes back as far as the beginning of the last century with the Supremism art movement in Russia founded in 1913 by Kasimir Malevich. The talk at the moment echoes ideas and thoughts of Russia just after the 1918 Revolution and thoughts of a new society of social equality. As the world faces economic depression so thoughts are focused on areas of greater importance, that of spiritual freedoms and as our general interest in consumerism depletes so our interest in ephemeral matters increases. The architect has to deal with the elements of wind, sound and light when constructing a building and these elements are an interesting dimension as yet untapped in modern art. Want interests me is how art can be more participartory. This would link in with ideas from the intellectual activist movement of today spearheaded by Michael Albert and his book Parecon - Participartory Economics, Life After Capitalism.

In this case it is Wangechi Mutu and David Adjaye at Salon 94 in New York:

Salon 94 is pleased to present an exhibition by artist Wangechi Mutu in collaboration with British architect David Adjaye. Opening on Sunday, May 21, 2006, “Exhuming Gluttony: A Lover’s Requiem,” is an installation that re-imagines the idea of the banquet.

Wangechi Mutu has taken the notion of the salon and the white cube gallery and hacked into it a beastly feast. Creating a succulent room filled with the tropes and smells of entitlement and over-consumption, Mutu uses her weeping wine bottles and bullet-ridden walls to frame the uncomfortable romance between wealth and waste, affluence and mass poverty.

Within the space, Mutu fashions a romantic feast of exaggerated forms and icons, where sacrifice and opulence are on grotesque display. In the center of the room, for example, is an enormous banquet table, made from a single wood slab supported by a forest of wooden legs cut at various lengths. In front of this crippled table is a trophy sculpture made up of various animal pelts. A diaphanous curtain haunted by a tumorous image oversees the space, where food, wine, and conversation would be flowing.

This installation invokes the same demons and worlds that Mutu's latest collages on Mylar conjure. Her languorous warriors posed in contentment and exhaustion will have a concurrent exhibition downtown at Sikkema Jenkins and Co.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Wangechi Mutu lives and works in New York. She is one of thirteen artists in the SITE Santa Fe Biennial curated by Klaus Ottoman and has shown at the Whitney Museum, the Aldrich Museum, P.S. 1 in New York, and SFMOMA in San Francisco. She is represented by Sikkema Jenkins and Co. in New York and Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles

David Adjaye, born in Tanzania, is recognized as one of the leading architects of his generation in the UK, He designed the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway and recently exhibited “Making Public Buildings” at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.

Source: Salon 94, NYC

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