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Untitled (12th Istanbul biennial)

Colangelo, Dave (2012) Untitled (12th Istanbul biennial). C Magazine (113). pp. 47-48.

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Abstract

The tone was, as you might expect, serious. And rightfully so. The weight of these themes called for concentration over participation. The crowds seemed to understand, moving slowly and carefully from room to room. In one room, somewhere between the group shows entitled Untitled (History) and "Untitled" (Death by Gun), Martha Rosler's Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful (1967-72) series seemed to inspire hushed contemplation. Was it the continued occupation of troops on foreign soil and the expanded field of media infiltrating device-laden homes that invoked this solemnity? Not far from Rosler's work was The Historical Records Archive (2005- ongoing) by Dani Gal, an emerging Israeli artist. Packed more tightly, this collection of LPs of recorded political addresses and coverage of historical events from various countries was the closest the biennial came to playfulness. (This was a show, after all, where, Columbianborn artist Milena Bonilla's Stone Deafioo{\textasciicircum} - one of the few included video works - showed a series of close-ups of insects crawling across the weathered, and disputed, grave of Karl Marx.) The inclusion of Gal's work bridged a gap between popular material culture and the curators' statements, reminding us of our complicity - the sheer weight of being within globalized capital - which can at times feel too lightly distributed across the goods and media we consume and discard. Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann's introspective and controlled exhibition continued in the works displayed in a room entitled Untitled (Abstraction). Although not appearing in the show, a description of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' Untitled (Bloodwork - Steady Decline) (1994) - a hegemonic grid humanized and subverted with a diagonal line representing the state of Gonzalez-Torres' immune system - laid the groundwork for this section. Here, Mona Hatoum's Untitled (Hair Grid with Knots 6) (2003), consisting of human hair woven into paper to create a simple grid, treats the organizational substrate of harsh modernism with delicate strands that seem anything but finite. Gabriel Sierra's sculptural, almost architectural work, Untitled (Support for mathematics lesson) (2007), picks up on these vital associations. In this piece, apples and pears rest in the spaces created by an interlocking grid of rulers. The imposition of the organic suggests the uncontainable and incommunicable within modern modes of measurement and expression. The thought ofthat which decays imprecisely filling these definitive spaces - belying their underlying calculus of approximations - is comforting and unsettling.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art, Art exhibits, Museums And Art Galleries, Photography, Visual artists
Divisions: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2016 18:00
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2017 07:03
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1051

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