artists & participants
From April 10 to July 19, 2009, the Guggenheim Museum will inaugurate Intervals, a new contemporary art series, with a multipart installation by Julieta Aranda (b. 1975, Mexico City).
In Aranda's presentation, four conceptually related works propose an alternative notion of temporal experience as a shifting and unquantifiable state, liberated from rigid conventions of measurement. In an interstitial space near the museum's staircase, a peephole reveals the image of an hourglass, a traditional symbol of mortality. Viewed through the refracting optical device of a camera obscura, the grains of sand appear to flow upward in a startling reversal of time's passage. Nearby, patches of paint on the walls recall the look of covered-up street graffiti, rendered indecipherable yet retaining a ghostly presence in the urban landscape. Here Aranda has transcribed quotations about time drawn from sources that span more than 2,000 years. Using phosphorescent paint, the words become visible only when the space is darkened, momentarily recovering the erased language.
One floor above, Aranda has installed an oversized clock in which the day is divided into 10 elongated hours. This system references decimal time, a short-lived initiative introduced during the rationalizing fervor of the French Revolution that reorganized the day into 10 hours, containing 100 minutes of 100 seconds each. While the clock pays homage to this act of iconoclasm, the movement of the second hand represents an entirely subjective experience of time, corresponding directly to the fluctuating rate of the artist's own heartbeat over the course of one day. The time it takes for the clock to complete a revolution of 100 seconds therefore varies according to Aranda's behavior and state of mind: it ticks faster during moments of excited activity and slower during periods of rest. In an accompanying sound piece, a transistor radio emits a recording of this heart rate, suggesting the nuanced tempo of human experience.
Aranda's multimedia, project-based work has frequently focused on the dissemination of information and the agency of the individual in contemporary society. In collaborative projects with Anton Vidokle, such as an itinerant, freely available archive of videos (e-flux Video Rental, 2004– ) and an operative store where artists could hock their works (Pawnshop, 2007), she has reinvented existing systems of commerce and circulation as part of an ongoing project to, in her own words, "generate viable propositions for alternative transactions of cultural capital."
Intervals was initiated by Chief Curator Nancy Spector as an experimental series to allow the museum to respond quickly to innovations and new developments in contemporary art as they arise. Conceived to take place in the interstices of the museum's exhibition spaces or beyond the physical confines of the building, the program will invite a diverse range of artists to create new work for a succession of solo presentations.
Following Aranda's exhibition, a series of subsequent Intervals projects will be presented each year. The second Intervals presentation, featuring Berlin-based artist Kitty Kraus, is planned for fall 2009, with further projects under development for 2010.
Intervals: Julieta Aranda is organized by Nancy Spector and Katherine Brinson, Assistant Curator. The exhibition series is funded by the generous contributions of the Intervals Leadership Committee. Chaired by Young Collectors Council member Jeremy Steinke, the group comprises high-level Guggenheim members who are committed to the realization of Intervals projects and who enjoy a privileged insight into the processes behind them through dialogue with the curators and artists.
Wednesday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m., Aranda will give a lecture as part of the museum's Elaine Terner Cooper Education Fund Conversations with Contemporary Artists. A reception with the artist will follow. Contact +212 423 3587 or online at http://www.guggenheim.org/education.
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Kuratoren: Nancy Spector, Katherine Brinson