Fall 2011 Talks
The fall 2011 Public Art Fund Talks at The New School series examines the transformative potential of sculpture and its ability to reach beyond the material presence of an object’s physical form. Inspired by the influence of an earlier conceptual art legacy on contemporary sculptural practice, this series will explore how the limits of an object might be redefined both literally and metaphorically in the public realm.
Michael Sailstorfer explores the series topic, The Limits of an Object in relation to past works as well as his newer large-scale sculpture Tornado that physically transformed some 200 truck inner tube tires into dark “clouds” that swirled above visitors passing through Doris C. Freedman Plaza. Sailstorfer’s practice, primarily the use of found materials to create “transformation machines” that expand the space and presence of an object beyond what meets the eye.
Alaska-based, Italian artist Paola Pivi’s installations, sculpture, performances and photographs create astonishing and enigmatic associations and visual relationships that expand our understanding of the experience of contemporary art. Bringing together surprising references from our everyday world, Pivi has orchestrated such unexpected scenarios as a gallery petting zoo, a transport truck flipped on the side of a road, 100 Chinese people gathered in a gallery, and a leopard traversing a gallery filled with cups of cappuccino. Likened to an “experiential playground”, her work ultimately subverts expectation with the unanticipated and challenges our mode of engagement by presenting the inconceivable as real.
Matthew Day Jackson
History is a part of every single action, every single thing that we do. We don’t choose it; it kind of chooses us. We are a product of our environment. I think that it’s a matter of seeing things in the world around me, things I read, a photograph on the Internet, things I see riding my bike down the street. There are these moments where it’s almost like a radar ping. In being who we are, we are constantly sending these signals out to the world, and when you start to get a signal back—that is the thing that’s acknowledging our presence, our vision. And at that moment, that’s the point when you’ve chosen it. We’ve sent the signal out, the signal comes back to us, and at that moment we embody history and as we send these signals out its just showing that we’re aware of doing so.
-Matthew Day Jackson, “The Brooklyn Rail”, July-August 2011
One of the most inventive artists of his generation, Matthew Day Jackson explores the relationship between materials, myths, and recent history to create works that grapple with the nature of human experience, both personal and collective. Jackson’s work utilizes an everyday iconography juxtaposed with an unknown archaeology of form to create “brave new worlds” of encounter in his works, whether he is working in sculpture, collage, video or photography.
Public Art Fund Talks are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.