The show 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. More than 60 works by more than 20 artists the artists interpret this palces by focusing on their experiential and atmospheric qualities.
Curator Claudine IsÃ¨
The new exhibition Vanishing Point, on view May 21â€“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 â€œnon-spaces.â€ These ubiquitous public realmsâ€”convenience stores, hotel lobbies, shopping malls, airport terminals, parking lotsâ€”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 dazzling to the eye.
â€œVanishing Point is one of the first shows to investigate the surprisingly dramatic ways that mundane public spaces can affect us,â€ says Claudine IsÃ¨;, associate curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center. â€œWhile 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.â€
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 IsÃ¨; and noted art historian and cultural critic Hal Foster, will accompany the show.
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 Mirerâ€™s disorienting perspectives of architectural spaces in Columbus, New York City, and Havana. Alexander Birchler and Teresa Hubbardâ€™s large-scale photographs Tinseltown 20 and Tinseltown South depict two different movie theaters from the Tinseltown chain, each of whose faÃ§ades were photographed over the course of 24 hours, then digitally compressed into a single image. Fabian Birgfeldâ€™s photographic triptychs taken in various airport terminals across the globe hone in on the anonymous grandeur of these â€œplacelessâ€ public spaces. The exhibition also includes a number of film and video installations, including Deborah Stratmanâ€™s acclaimed film In Order Not to Be Here, a starkly poetic mediation on contemporary suburbiaâ€™s obsession with security borders; Sarah Beddingtonâ€™s short video loops that explore the delirious built environment of modern Shanghai; and Won Ju Limâ€™s spectacular room-si zed 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 Wheelerâ€™s melancholy views of boutique windows at night, inspired by the minimalism of Japanese sumi ink paintings; Sarah Morrisâ€™s 6-foot-square geometric abstractions of well-known corporate buildings in Los Angeles; Amelie Von Wulffenâ€™s surrealist photocollages of fanciful architectures; and Corinne Wasmuhtâ€™s stunning, mural-sized nocturnal cityscape that feels large enough to walk into.
In addition, a major new work by the innovative artistsâ€™ 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.
Claudine IsÃ¨; joined the Wexner Center as associate curator of exhibitions in February 2004. IsÃ¨; curated Particle Theory, a contemporary sculpture exhibition, for the Wexner Center in winter of that year. Prior to joining the Wexner Center, IsÃ¨; 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. IsÃ¨; 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.
The exhibition was organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts. It is presented with support from OM Workspace and the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation.
Accommodations are provided by The Blackwell Inn.
Promotional support is provided by Fox 28.
Wexner Center exhibitions are being held at the Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building while the galleries at the Wexner Centerâ€™s Ohio State location undergo renovation. The Belmont Building is the former home of Belmont Casket, considered â€œthe Cadillac of Caskets,â€ which moved to Columbus in 1916. The building, constructed in 1885, sits near the intersection of Spring Street and Neil Avenue, with an entrance located off Cozzins Street. The four-story building, which currently houses offices in addition to the Wexner Center Galleries, is positioned in a high-growth area, just between the booming Arena District and the historically industrial River District.
The Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State Universityâ€™s multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, screenings, performances, artist residencies, and educational programs, the Wexner Center acts as a forum where established and emerging artists can test ideas and where diverse audiences can participate in cultural experiences that enhance understanding of the art of our time. In its programs, the Wexner Center balances a commitment to experimentation with a commitment to traditions of innovation and affirms the universityâ€™s mission of education, research, and community service.
Wexner Center Galleries
The Belmont Building
1871 North High Street - Columbus
Hours: 11 amâ€“6 pm Tuesdayâ€“Wednesday; 11 amâ€“9 pm Thursday; 11 amâ€“6 pm Friday; noonâ€“6 pm Saturdayâ€“Sunday. Closed Mondays and holidays Admission and parking are free