Monday, June 25, 2012

The Architecture of Exhibits Opening This Week

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

So many axonometries in a design that is hardly axonometric. Image courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture.
  • So many axonometries in a design that is hardly axonometric. Image courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture.

We mentioned a thing or two last week about galleries going heavy on group exhibitions come summertime, and about how at times these tendencies can make for some savory exhibitional treats.

Two similarly deep group exhibits opening this week—though not quite the 'gallery roster' genre, given the fonts of their artist lineups and greater conceptual probities—sound very similarly promising. They also dovetail with one another by dint of architectural bases.

Such an architectural foundation, for one of the shows, is far from surprising, as that is rather patently a crucial aspect of the modus operandi at Storefront for Art and Architecture, where Aesthetics/Anesthetics will open tomorrow. A culling of commissioned works from 30 different artists and architects around the world, this exhibit will be a variegated and likely varicolored display of architectural drawings—with the intent, it seems, of reinstating some sense of their primacy.

Per the gallery's press release:

During the last ten years there has been a resurgence of certain representational devices that have become architectural clichés operating almost as placeholders or decorative elements of an architecture unable to draw itself. We all have seen them: birds on beautiful skies, happy children with balloons, those axonometries... this exhibition is an invitation to let those clichés go and explore the performativity of the architectural drawing as a way to generate a new imaginary. The 30 drawings on display are an open door to reclaim a lost territory: the drawing.

Go have a look inside tomorrow or some other time in the next month, during which talks and other exhibit-related activities will be featured as well.

Another group exhibit to be unveiled this week, opening on Friday evening at Brooklyn Heights Cinema, is related to the above-described show not only thanks to architectural notions, actually, but also by way of a sentence in Storefront's own press release for Aesthetics/Anesthetics. To quote from it again:

An image [and its after-image] carries within itself a history [or performative script] of characters, discourses, and conventions.

A bit hard to read that and not think of cinema, is it not?

If so, and if that lures you in, then consider checking out The Picture Show. Curated by Claudia Eve Beauchesne, this exhibition draws inspiration not merely from the practical realities of its very environs—a lovely and beloved yet soon-to-be demolished movie theater—but also from historical precedents. According to the curator:

The Picture Show is a photography exhibition celebrating filmmaking, the moviegoing experience, and the enduring influence of cinema on artists. The exhibition also pays homage to The Real Estate Show (1980) and The Times Square Show (1981), two large-scale group exhibitions that critiqued the systems of power articulated by the control of property while embracing the romance of decay.

Curiously, this show, too, will also feature about thirty artists.

Yet fortunately, The Picture Show will be up for a couple of months. So the structure it shall inhabit is not yet drawing final breaths.

Before its curtains are so dramatically, and direly, drawn.

Wait, is not that other show also about drawings? Doesn't it also mention something about architecture that is "unable to draw itself"?

Coincidence?

Perhaps, but the openings themselves are not temporally coincident. So do try to attend both.

To draw conclusions of your own design, of course.

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You can follow Paul D'Agostino on Twitter @postuccio

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