Stories of Almost Everyone Exhibition at the Hammer Museum
Stories of Almost Everyone Jan 28 - May 6, 2018
Stories of Almost Everyone is an exhibition premised on the relationship between works of contemporary art and their inherent narratives.
From January 28 - May 6, 2018, the Hammer Museum is displaying Stories of Almost Everyone (curated by Aram Moshayedi with Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi), showcasing works by BAP resident, Cian Dayrit.
Recently, there has been an emphasis on the meaning behind pieces of work and communicating its social, political and economic histories. Both artists and curators have placed value on the writing and language surrounding works of art. Aesthetics is merely a component of the artwork, as their histories have a bigger hand at creating authentic experiences. Stories of Almost Everyone stresses that the objects of contemporary art possess inner lives that conventions of display can only approximate. Cian Dayrit's sculpture called, 'Tiis Ganda, Kutis Amerika’ is a tribute to the significance of narrative behind artworks.
In the artist's own words,
"A mahogany vanity is retrofitted to accommodate a kneeling altar. This architectural tweak offers a suggestion of a body thrust into supplication. Acts of prayer configure the self as a sacrificial offering; we admit a shortcoming in exchange for deliverance, a new purpose and function in life. In the case of Filipino culture, though, the "sacrifice for beauty"- tiis ganda- is predicated in a corrosive inferiority complex, with America as a superior standard-bearer. The emergence of Hollywood films in the Philippines during the early twentieth century presented beauty as that of the "American complexion" - Kutis Amerika. These Western aesthetics were ingrained in the Filipino imaginary; anything less than whiteness was impure, unacceptable in front of the big-name icons of early American cinema. Applying skin-bleaching cream was a way to approximate whitened beauty. Yet the kneeling vanity introduces prayer as a divine proxy for atoning for blemishes upon whiteness. Christianity, however, comes with its own tainted history, as Spanish imperialism- aided by religion- wiped out indigenous animistic beliefs and practices just as easily as it introduced invasive wood species like the mahogany to manufacture firearms."
Over thirty international artists come together in this meta exhibition to address the means by which compositions and artifacts traffic in meaning and mythology in equal measure. This exhibition distinguishes itself from other exhibitions by embodying the parallel to communicate their inherent value and at the same time, question art's promise to convey meaning.
According to the Hammer Museum, the exhibition includes:
- a 2.02-carat, rough-cut diamond made from the remains of Luis Barragán, produced by Jill Magid in an attempt to have the late architect’s professional archive returned to Mexico
- arrangements of cut flowers, reproduced by a local florist according to a protocol determined by artist Kapwani Kiwanga that approximate floral arrangements that played witness to ceremonies in which African countries gained their independence from colonial rule
- a pile of mail addressed to Hammer staff that accumulates unopened during the run of the exhibition, according to the instructions established by Mungo Thomson
- a selection of track suits designed by Dutch-Chinese designer Fong Leng, amassed by Willem de Rooij as part of a larger collection that reflects his artistic interests in culturally connoted objects
- a ball of cocoa leaves chewed by Bolivian miners in Potosí recast into silver by Antonio Vega Macotela
- a pillow that has only been slept on by the mayor of Nuremberg, authored as a work by Jason Dodge; a fragment of petrified wood from the studio of Carol Bove
- a copy of the Los Angeles Times from each preceding day, situated on a block of walnut by Dave McKenzie.
An important component of Stories of Almost Everyone is a fictional audio guide by writer Kanishk Tharoor. Tharoor provides an alternative voice to both complement and contradict the authoritative voices of establishments. Tharoor emphasizes the histories of each artwork, rather than conforming to the orthodox way of merely describing each piece in the exhibition.
The exhibition includes Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Lutz Bacher, Darren Bader, Fayçal Baghriche, Kasper Bosmans, Carol Bove, Andrea Büttner, Banu Cennetoğlu, Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, Fiona Connor, Isabelle Cornaro, Martin Creed, among other talented artists.
"Stories of Almost Everyone" will be on display from January 28, 2018, to May 6, 2018, at Hammer Museum.
"Busis Ibat Ha Kanayunan" will be on display from December 7 to January 23, 2018 at Bellas Artes Outpost.
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