The Walker Art Center presents Question the Wall Itself, an exploration of the political, social and cultural qualities of interior architecture and décor, through a series of works featuring sculpture, installation, film, video, photography, performance and site-responsive pieces. Jonathas de Andrade, Louise Lawler and Ull Hohn are some of the 23 international artists selected to exhibit their work at the Walker Art Center across the Target, Friedman and Burnet Galleries.
Responses to the concept include a breadth of works represented as rooms: anterooms, prison cells, living rooms, libraries, showrooms and interior gardens, all seeking to uncover the foundations of how the space which we live influence our understandings of cultural identity and belonging. A series of new commissions take on a new global angle by Uri Aran, Nina Beier, Tom Burr, and Shahryar Nashat, among others.
Artists like Walid Raad, Jonathas de Andrade, and Paul Sietsema examine the link interior architecture has alongside power and civic struggles in the Middle East, Brazil and the USA, touching on relationships between subject matter and their relevant personal, social and cultural backgrounds. Walid Raad focuses on the speculative commitment of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of museum-scale showrooms for contemporary and modern Arab art, through his work Letters to the Reader, represented as possible devoid spaces insignificant to its audience.
Paul Siestsema uses a 16mm film installation panning shots of scale models made by himself, featuring Clement Greenberg’s art-filled living room as seen in the pages of Vogue magazine in 1964 as well as Rococo stylings of the 18th century Salon de la Princesse in the Hôtel de Soubise, Paris. Both spaces interrogate the language of dominance and capital culture within the fabric of our interior existence.
Covering a range of private and public spaces, the show promises to be an introspected glance at the tension between represented contexts and their underlying sense of power or shifting authority.
Question the wall itself opens 20 November, Walker Art Center, USA.
For more information, visit www.walkerart.org
1. Installation view, Walid Raad, Letters to the Reader, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2/27 – 3/26/16). © Walid Raad. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.
2. Lucy McKenzie, Loos House, 2013 oil on canvas on wood structure, Installation view: Something They Have To Live With, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 6 April – 22 September, 2013, Courtesy Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, April 6 – September 22, 2013
3. Jonathas de Andrade, Nostalgia, um sentimento de classe (Nostalgia, a Class Sentiment), 2012348 fiber glass pieces, digital print and black vinyl, variable dimensions; photo Edouard Fraipont; view at “Nostalgia, um sentimento de Classe”, Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo, April 2013.