Daniel Arsham gives an exclusive tour during the installation of his first solo exhibition in New York.
The exhibition, Circa 2345, offers a brief glimpse into our current culture from the perspective of a future archeological site.
"Circa 2345" is Daniel Arsham’s first solo show with Galerie Perrotin in New York. The exhibition features sculptural pieces, breakthrough use of color as well as a large scale installation. This will be the artists eleventh show with Galerie Perrotin.
Daniel Arsham’s sculptural works are poetic constructions made up of juxtapositions of form and material: a 16mm film projector rendered in ash and hydrostone, or a 20th century iconic guitar, formed out of white glacial rock dust, its crumbling areas integral to its haunting beauty.
Transforming compressed elemental materials such as stone, crystal and ash into carefully chosen important cultural artefacts, Arsham offers a brief glimpse into our current culture and its signifiers, as if seen far off into the future. The poignant works reflect back to the viewer issues such as the fragility of human civilisation and the ephemeral nature of time, ending up as potentially puzzling and mysterious as any rare figurine or pot unearthed at an archeological site.
Purposefully making craft a central aspect to his process, Arsham often allows errors from the moulds or casts to come through, adding a layer of meaning, decay and depth to the work. In this exhibition Arsham presents on the first floor new works from 2016, such as Blue Calcite Basketball Jersey, Blue Calcite Basketball Tower, and Blue Calcite Bulls Jacket amongst others. By using this particular crystalline calcite, each piece radiates an intense blue, the shock of color opening up Arsham’s artistic lexicon, a byproduct from his research and results into correcting his inherent colorblindness. Arsham introduces in this exhibition color in his sculptural work, as well as a combination of different elements, for the first time. On the lower floor of the gallery, the viewer encounters an immersive architectural installation that hints, like a lot of the artist’s oeuvre, at a participant and potential narrative through absence.
Daniel Arsham is a New York based artist. Arsham straddles the line between art, architecture and performance. Raised in Miami, Arsham attended the Cooper Union in New York City where he received the Gelman Trust Fellowship Award in 2003.
Architecture is a prevalent subject throughout his work; environments with eroded walls and stairs going nowhere, landscapes where nature overrides structures, and a general sense of playfulness within existing architecture.
Arsham makes architecture do things it is not supposed to do, mining everyday experience for opportunities to confuse and confound our expectations of space and form. Simple yet paradoxical gestures dominate his sculptural work: a façade that appears to billow in the wind, a figure wrapped up in the surface of a wall, a contemporary object cast in volcanic ash as if it was found on some future archeological site.
Structural experiment, historical inquiry, and satirical with all combine in Arsham’s ongoing interrogation of the real and the imagined.
In 2004, Arsham participated in the group show Miami Nice at Galerie Perrotin (Paris), which began to represent Arsham in 2005. As one of the founders of the seminal Miami artist-run spaces, “The House”, his interest in collaboration began early. In 2004 legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham asked Arsham to create the stage design for his work eyeSpace. Following this Arsham toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for performances in Australia, France, and multiple locations in the United States. Arsham’s first stage design for Cunningham was acquired by The Walker Museum for its permanent collection. Despite never being trained in stage design he has continued his practice in stage, collaborating with Robert Wilson, as well as a sustained collaboration with Jonah Bokaer who was a former Cunningham dancer. Arsham’s collaboration with Bokaer includes works performed worldwide at locations such as The New Museum, IVAM in Spain, and The Hellenic Festival in Athens Greece, Jacobs Pillow dance festival in Massachusetts, as well as the prestigious Festival d’Avignon.
Arsham’s most recent collaboration with world renowned musician and producer Pharrell Williams involved the recreation in Volcanic Ash of Pharrell’s first keyboard. To further expand the possibilities of spatial manipulation and collaboration, Arsham founded SNARKITECTURE in 2007 with partner Alex Mustonen to serve new and imaginative purposes. Their multidisciplinary practice has included collaborations with designers Public School and Richard Chai, the entrance pavilion for Design Miami, as well as a complete line of functional design objects. Arsham’s most recent enterprise is production company Film the Future, founded in 2014 in collaboration with director/ cinematographer/editor Ben Louis Nicholas and producer Courtney Andrialis.
Productions to date include Arsham’s 9 part science fiction film series Future Relic (starring among others James Franco in the second part and Juliette Lewis in the third); a short film for Hennessy 250; and a short film for Jefferson Hack’s MOVEment series, in collaboration with Calvin Klein, Jonah Boaker and Julie Kent Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Bienniale in Athens, Greece, The New Museum In New York, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California and Carré d’Art de Nîmes, France among others. A first monograph of Arsham’s work was published by the French Centre national des arts plastiques. Galerie Perrotin has published 3 monographs in 2008, 2012, 2015 including texts by Steven Matijcio, Marc Quinn, Jane Rendell, and conversations with Felix Burrichter, Steve Pulimood and Robert Wilson.
Daniel Arsham | filmed by Out of Sync | NYC September 2016
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
Artworks courtesy | Daniel Arsham | Galerie Perrotin
© Out of Sync 2016