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robertogreco : jorgeotero-pailos   2

Nothing Stable under Heaven · SFMOMA
[This was great.]

[So was "Sublime Seas
John Akomfrah and J.M.W. Turner"

"Nothing Stable under Heaven reflects on the contested past, the turbulent present, and the unpredictable future, examining how individual and collective voices can be heard in an uncertain world. The title is taken from an essay by James Baldwin, in which he claims the role of the artist in society is to reveal its inherent instability. Featuring contemporary work from the museum’s collection by artists such as Andrea Bowers, Hans Haacke, Emily Jacir, Arthur Jafa, and Glenn Ligon, this exhibition explores the ways that these artists inform our understanding of urgent social, ecological, and civic issues—including security and surveillance, evolving modes of communication, and political resistance."
classideas  sfmoma  art  2018  jamesbaldwin  kevinbeasley  anteliu  dawoudbey  kerryjamesmarshall  andreabowers  mikemills  tiffanychung  richardmisrach  tonyfeher  simonnorfolk  amyfranceschini  lisaoppenheim  felixgonzalez-torres  jorgeotero-pailos  hanshaacke  trevorpaglen  lesliehewitt  maurorestiffe  jessicajacksonhutchins  judithjoyross  emilyjacir  michalrovner  arthurjafa  allansekula  rinkokawauchi  tarynsimon  an-mylê  penelopeumbrico  glennligon  tobiaswong  society  ecology  environment  security  surveillance  communication  politic  resistance  uncertainty  instability  exhibitions  exhibits  johnakomfrah  jmwturner 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Jorge Otero-Pailos: The Ethics of Dust at the Venice Biennale: Places: Design Observer
"If Otero-Pailos wasn’t trying to mimic Marcel Duchamp, what exactly was he trying to do? Although he is a licensed architect (with a Ph.D. in architectural history, theory and criticism), and also a professor in the preservation program at Columbia, Otero-Pailos is not a traditional preservationist; nor is he simply an architect or theorist or artist. He characterizes what he does as “an aesthetic practice, an artistic practice,” and he explains: “I never thought it was a choice of either ‘you’re an intellectual’ or ‘you’re an artist or architect.’” Mark Wigley, dean of architecture, planning and preservation at Columbia, sees Otero-Pailos as expanding the legacy of the school’s historic preservation program — launched in 1964, the first of its kind in the country — and its iconoclastic founder, James Marston Fitch, an architect, social activist and historian who argued that complete restoration was undemocratic because it didn’t allow the public to see what had been restored and how. While most people regard preservation as a way to hold off or even deny change, Wigley explained, Fitch emphasized the ways in which preservation implies transformation and progress.

In projects and writings, Otero-Pailos has become the provocateur of the field, posing fundamental questions — if not outright, then by the nature of his work — that embattled preservationists and conservationists have perhaps been too busy, or too unwilling, to ask. Why do we preserve buildings? What do we preserve? What is our cultural heritage? If preservationists are restoring objects that have already been made, is the field still a creative discipline? These are complicated queries, and articulating answers doesn’t seem as important to Otero-Pailos as stirring up conversation. Which he did, for example, in a recent project for Philip Johnson’s Glass House: Noticing the smoke stains on the ceiling of the living room — the scene of countless soirees — Otero-Pailos and Rosendo Mateu, perfumer and head of the Puig Perfumery Center, worked to recreate the atmosphere, the smells, that would have been so strong a part of the social experience of the place during Johnson’s long and convivial life.

And in addition to such unorthodox projects, Otero-Pailos has been challenging what may seem like the least arguable area of the preservation discipline; for the last several years he has been asking obsessively: Why do we clean buildings? And which ones? And how?

The Ethics of Dust
In 2008 Otero-Pailos was invited to create a work of conservation and art for the European Biennial of Contemporary Art (also known as Manifesta) in Bolzano, Italy. In the disused aluminum factory where the biennial was housed, and from which the curators expected artists to take inspiration, he spent a month on scaffolding with three former students, cleaning a wall with latex. He and his team spent every day at the factory, from morning to night. They painted a latex cleaning solution (called Arte Mundit) on the wall, waited for it to dry and peeled it off. They had decided earlier that the wall was too enormous to hang the latex skin as a continuous work of art: the latex would be too heavy and would snap; so instead they devised a grid system based on the factory window mullions, and hung rectangles of latex from the scaffolding. Together the rectangles created a tarnished, tissue-thin antique mirror, a reflection of the wall itself. Light from the factory windows shone though the pollution that had been transferred to the latex. Otero-Pailos called the Bolzano piece “The Ethics of Dust.”

The project was inspired, in part, by one of Otero-Pailos’s heroes, John Ruskin, the British art and architecture theorist whose prodigious literary output included a book called The Ethics of the Dust (Otero-Pailos omitted the second “the”), originally published in 1865. Ruskin, who spent long periods in Venice, believed that dust and dirt had value, and when deposited on buildings, became intrinsic to their history. He called the accumulation of grime a “time-stain” and encouraged Venetian conservators to preserve the city’s dark and dirty facades. Soiling meant age, and age was a building’s “greatest glory,” he wrote. “Restoration may possibly … produce good imitation of an ancient work of art; but the original is then falsified, and in its restored state it is no longer an example of the art of the period to which it belonged … [Restoration] is a Lie from beginning to end.” [2] "
2011  preservation  dust  via:shannnon_mattern  jorgeotero-pailos  lauraraskin  conservation  architecture  ethics  history 
june 2014 by robertogreco

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