press release

The new exhibition Vanishing Point, on view May 21–August 14, 2005 at the Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building, reveals the uncanny and often eerie beauty of everyday public spaces. Organized by the Wexner Center, Vanishing Point features photographs, paintings, drawings, video, and mixed-media installations that explore the aesthetics of contemporary urban “non-spaces.” These ubiquitous public realms—convenience stores, hotel lobbies, shopping malls, airport terminals, parking lots—are often considered anonymous, banal, or otherwise socially and culturally insignificant. Rather than objectively documenting these spaces, the artists in Vanishing Point interpret them by focusing on their experiential and atmospheric qualities. The works in the show, most of them devoid of people, evoke the feeling of displacement and disorientation that can result from these spaces, which can seem both familiar and foreign, ordinary yet also da zzling to the eye.

“Vanishing Point is one of the first shows to investigate the surprisingly dramatic ways that mundane public spaces can affect us,” says Claudine Isé, associate curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center. “While most art with architecture as its subject strives for objectivity by creating a sense of distance between the viewer and the building, the artists in Vanishing Point do the opposite. They are interested in conveying the intimate relationship that we all share with even the most banal public spaces.”

With more than 60 works by more than 20 artists, the exhibition will fill up all 7,500 square feet of gallery space at The Belmont Building. A fully illustrated catalogue, featuring essays by Vanishing Point curator Claudine Isé and noted art historian and cultural critic Hal Foster, will accompany the show.

THE WORKS AND THE ARTISTS Vanishing Point features both abstract and representational work in a variety of media by an international roster of young artists, including Sarah Morris, Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Sabine Hornig, Carla Klein, Luisa Lambri, Craig Kalpakjian, Won Ju Lim, and Dike Blair.

The show features many photographic works, with depictions that include Daniel Mirer’s disorienting perspectives of architectural spaces in Columbus, New York City, and Havana. Alexander Birchler and Teresa Hubbard’s large-scale photographs Tinseltown 20 and Tinseltown South depict two different movie theaters from the Tinseltown chain, each of whose façades were photographed over the course of 24 hours, then digitally compressed into a single image. Fabian Birgfeld’s photographic triptychs taken in various airport terminals across the globe hone in on the anonymous grandeur of these “placeless” public spaces. The exhibition also includes a number of film and video installations, including Deborah Stratman’s acclaimed film In Order Not to Be Here, a starkly poetic mediation on contemporary suburbia’s obsession with security borders; Sarah Beddington’s short video loops that explore the delirious built environment of modern Shanghai; and Won Ju Lim’s spect acular room-sized installation that constructs a sparkling cityscape out of Plexiglas models and projected footage of Southern California oil refineries.

The show also includes a strong representation of contemporary painting, such as Amy Wheeler’s melancholy views of boutique windows at night, inspired by the minimalism of Japanese sumi ink paintings; Sarah Morris’s 6-foot-square geometric abstractions of well-known corporate buildings in Los Angeles; Amelie Von Wulffen’s surrealist photocollages of fanciful architectures; and Corinne Wasmuht’s stunning, mural-sized nocturnal cityscape that feels large enough to walk into.

In addition, a major new work by the innovative artists’ collaborative e-Xplo has been commissioned for this exhibition. The New York-based, three-person collective will create a multimedia installation that focuses specifically on the urban landscape of Columbus at night. To create this project, e-Xplo is conducting interviews with Columbus residents and is filming hours of footage that mines underexplored or unrecognized areas of nocturnal Columbus.

THE CURATOR Claudine Isé joined the Wexner Center as associate curator of exhibitions in February 2004. Isé curated Particle Theory, a contemporary sculpture exhibition, for the Wexner Center in winter of that year. Prior to joining the Wexner Center, Isé was assistant curator of the UCLA Hammer Museum, where she organized major solo presentations of Tomoko Takahashi and Frances Stark, and co-organized the acclaimed group exhibitions International Paper and Snapshot: New Art from Los Angeles. Isé has also worked as an arts writer for the Los Angeles Times and holds a Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.


Kurator: Claudine Isé
Organisation: Wexner Center for the Arts

mit Sarah Morris, Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler, Sabine Hornig, Carla Klein, Luisa Lambri, Craig Kalpakjian, Won Ju Lim, Dike Blair