Apr 19 2017

AAP Monthly Picks: April–May 2017

by The Editors

2 or 3 Tigers

Apr 20–Jul 3

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

HO TZU NYENOne or Several Tigers, 2017, still from synchronzied double-channel HD projection, automated screen, shadow puppets, 10 channel sound, show-control system. Courtesy the artist and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

Curators Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim come together for “2 or 3 Tigers,” the latest program in Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s four-year project “100 Years of Now,” which studies historical patterns as a way to analyze our contemporary climate. The exhibition title stems from participating artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s film, One or Several Tigers (2017) that explores the symbolic nature of tigers and the various associations the large cat has held from the pre-colonial era to present day.

Works from the show’s ten artists, who all originate from East Asia, address concerns of nationalism, colonialism, economics and representation. Yuichiro Tamura and IM Heung-soon’s installations, for example, will present the tiger as an icon of military patriotism in Asia, and James T. Hong’s film examines growing tensions around the disputed islands located in East Asia. Between April 20 and 23, talks, lectures and performances will be held at the museum, while throughout the course of the exhibition, an ever-expanding compendium of essays will be published online.

The Hugo Boss Prize: Anicka Yi, Life is Cheap

Apr 21–Jul 5

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

ANICKA YI2666, 2015, bacteria, nutrient agar, Plexiglas, 61 × 51 × 10.2 cm. Courtesy 47 Canal, New York, and Kunsthalle Basel. 

As the winner of the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize, New York-based artist Anicka Yi will present her solo exhibition, “Life is Cheap,” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. Expanding on her oeuvre of multimedia installations that probe olfactory associations, Yi will feature new works sprung from research using scientific techniques developed by molecular biologists and forensic chemists. Yi challenges sensory perception by investigating smell and its link to memory, emotional states or cultural identity. Upon entering the gallery space, visitors will be immersed in a carefully-crafted environment where a scent, entitled Immigrant Caucus (2017), will be released. This particular smell is a combination of chemical compounds derived from Asian American women and carpenter ants, an insect known for its matriarchal social structure and unusually keen sense of smell. Elsewhere in the show, strains of bacteria from Manhattan’s Chinatown and Koreatown will fester on agar, a gel-like substance, and will be displayed in a diorama, revealing an aggressive invasion of the manufactured habitat. 

Shilpa Gupta: Drawing in the Dark

Apr 29–Jul 16

Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany

SHILPA GUPTA, Unnoticed, Across Fenced Border, 2017, C-print on Dibond. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano. 

In collaboration with KIOSK, Ghent, and Centre d’Art Contemporain La Synagogue de Delme, the second stop of Shilpa Gupta’s traveling exhibition “Drawing in the Dark” coincides with the artist’s debut at Bielefelder Kunstverein, marking her first solo presentation at a German institution. Central to the exhibition is 24:00:01 (2010/2012), a flap board showing a sequence of phrases linked to migration and fear. Also on view will be new sculptures, drawings and collages that portray life in liminal areas between India and Bangladesh, which is an extension of the artist’s 2015 Venice Biennale collateral exhibition project, “My East is Your West.” These works will build upon her six-year research into the borders between the two South Asian countries and investigate the impact of imposing barriers—physical and symbolic—and its consequences on the creation of identity.

Exhibition 1

May 4–TBD

Institute of Arab and Islamic Art, New York, USA

MONIR SHAHROUDY FARMANFARMAIANUntitled, 2012. Copyright the artist. Courtesy the artist and The Third Line, Dubai.

Conceived by New York-based Sheikh Mohammed Rashid al-Thani from Qatar in 2014, the Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA) was formally established in 2016. In May, IAIA will inaugurate its exhibition programming with the show “Exhibition 1,” located in a temporary space in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood. The exhibition features works on paper by four female artists from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and India, who share an affinity for Islamic architecture, despite having roots in vastly different countries. Dana Awartani and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian investigate Islamic geometry in their intricately layered designs while Zarina Hashmi and the late Nasreen Mohamedi challenge spacial concepts and geometric perception through abstraction and minimal patterns and gestures. 

2017 California-Pacific Triennial: Building as Ever

May 6–Sep 3

Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, USA

WANG WEI, Slipping Mural (detail), 2016, mosaic tiles, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. 

The 2nd California-Pacific Triennial will be an amalgamation of the museum’s long-standing biennial, and now triennial program, dating back to 1984. This year, 25 artists and collectives from 11 countries will come together to investigate architecture and its relationship to instabilities in manufactured environments, manifested through concepts of home, displacement, preservation, economics, politics and history. The participants are from countries that border the Pacific Ocean and they will premiere new works or those specifically created for the event. Beijing-based artist Wang Wei will present his floor installation Slipping Mural (2016), which toys with the notion of artificial and reality, and Australia duo Super Critical Mass will collaborate with local participants to create a performance piece titled Common Space (2017) in response to the museum’s building. Each performance will involve a singular type of instrument or sound to create “monochromatic orchestras.”

Rana Begum: Space Light Color

May 12–Oct 1

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, UK 

RANA BEGUM, No. 529, 2014, paint on powder-coated aluminum, 210 × 600 × 5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galeri Manâ, Istanbul. 

Rana Begum’s “Space Light Color” will tactfully mesh sculpture, painting and architecture, bringing a unique engagement of space, light and form to the bucolic institution. Geometric patterns reference the influence of Islamic art and urban architecture, while a strong link is made to the Abstract and Constructivist movements. To provide historical context to Begum’s references, the Sainsbury Centre will exhibit selections from its collection of Abstract and Constructivist art, which includes works by Mary Martin, Lygia Clark, Tess Jaray, Jesus Raphael Soto and Max Bill.

Begum’s first-ever museum show will present new and existing works that will provide a more comprehensive view of the young artist’s practice—including commissioned pieces such as the mesh labyrinth installation No.670 (2016) created for London’s Parasol Unit and free standing, wall-based aluminum bars created for her solo show at Istanbul’s Galerie Mana.