Project Space: Soft SitesApril 21 - July 30, 2006
Friday, April 21, 5-6pm, ICA Members Only, join on-site
Friday, April 21, 6-8pm
Curated by ICA's 2004-2005 Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow Sara Reisman, "Soft Sites" recognizes a new paradigm in site-specific practice that has emerged during the age of globalization. The term "Soft Sites" refers to locations where significant physical change due to natural or human cause has taken place, descriptive of locations where earthquakes have destabilized the topography, referencing certain areas of lower Manhattan after 9/11, the Southeast Asian region so devastated by the tsunami at the end of 2004, and the Gulf Coast where Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in the fall of 2005.
Selected artworks take into account the intangible qualities of location—history, desire, identity, culture and sense of time—that, in combination, raise questions about what constitutes site-specificity. Positioning artworks in two places, the ICA's Project Space and Bartram's Garden in Southwest Philadelphia, "Soft Sites" juxtaposes mobile site-specific artworks within the gallery with artworks that respond to a particular historic site. The contrast of the two spaces raises awareness of the fluidity of contemporary site in comparison to the 250 year legacy of John Bartram and his contributions in the realm of botany, science, nature and philosophy.
Artworks in the Project Space (in some cases documentation of ephemeral artworks) address the distinctive characteristics of locational aesthetics and the ways in which these qualities have begun to erode, and the recent emergence of mobile site-specific artistic practice. Artists whose works are presented in the Project Space include Soledad Arias (b. 1959, Buenos Aires, Argentina; lives in New York City), Mary Ellen Carroll (b. 1961, Danville, Illinois; lives New York, NY), Laura Carton (b. 1969, Los Angeles; lives in New York), Lieven de Boeck (b. 1971, Dendermonde, Belgium; lives in New York, London and Brussels), Peter Dudek (b. 1952, Adams, Massachusetts; lives in New York), Seung Young Kim (b. 1963, Seoul ; lives in Seoul), Hironori Murai (b. 1962, Osaka, Japan; lives in Tokyo), and Katrin Sigurdardottir (b. 1967, Reykjavik, Iceland; lives in New York City).
For Bartram's Garden, Jane Benson (b. 1971, England; lives in Brooklyn, New York), Jimbo Blachly (b.1961, Orange New Jersey; lives in New York, NY) and Lytle Shaw (b. 1967, Ithaca, NY; lives New York, NY), Katie Holten (b. 1975, Dublin, Ireland; lives in New York), McKendree Key (b. 1978, Vermont; lives in Brooklyn), and Sebastián Romo (b. 1973, Mexico City; lives in Mexico City and New York) have created new artworks that respond directly to the aesthetics and history of what is America's oldest living botanical garden. Bartram's Garden hosts a pastoral 18th century homestead surrounded by a wildflower meadow, majestic trees, river trail, wetland, stone house and farm buildings overlooking the Schuylkill River, and the historic garden of American native plants.
This exhibition is accompanied by a brochure publication.
Installation views at ICA. Photos by Aaron Igler. > click to enlarge
Bartram's Garden is located at 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard. For more information and directions call 215.729.5281 or visit www.bartramsgarden.org.
ICA is grateful for support from the University of Pennsylvania Diversity Fund. Additional funding has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Dietrich Foundation Inc., the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA, and the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is also grateful for in-kind support from Loews Philadelphia Hotel. (Information complete as of 3/1/06.)
Images, top to bottom:
Katrin Sigurdardottir, Haul IV, 2004.
Plywood, polystyrene, vatican stone, landscaping
materials, hardware, transit labels.
Private collection, New York...
Mary Ellen Carroll, Late (view 2), 2005. Silver gelatin prints.