Beyond Art in General at Bloomberg
731 Lexington Ave
tours available by appointment, to make an appointment please call 212.219.0473 x21, or email [email protected]
ONLY CONNECT brings together the work of five artists who investigate the metaphor of communication through sculptural interventions and site-specific installations. Larry Bamburg, Tom Kotik, Heather Rowe, Mafalda Santos, and Patrick Tuttofuoco explore a world where information is translated into fragile assemblages, hyper-connected environments and intricate sculptures of low-tech materials. Some of the works in the exhibition in fact seem to visualize free associations and over-excited brain activities. It is an art of connections and lateral movements. Larry Bamburg’s installations, for example, usually resemble intricate galaxies or three-dimensional graphs made of wood, broken objects and nylon strings. His “Whistlers, Chippers, Trillers: One Down” is a kinetic sculpture that, if only for one moment, can turn the spaces of Bloomberg into an idyllic natural scene where birds’ voices are simulated by the cranky sound of fans and funnels. Tom Kotik works on a peculiar form of sound sculpture that tries to compete against the background sounds permeating every surface of Bloomberg Headquarters. His sculptures adopt the tools of music but only to shape what the artist calls an “architecture of silence,” a space where to retreat and experience a momentary disjunction from the flow of information. Other works in the show resemble artificial compositions of global networks or flow charts, but they seem to insist on finding a personal dimension within the social space of information. Mafalda Santos’ complex diagrams and intricate systems engage with the fractal geometries of communication networks but they do so through the very personal gesture of the artist’s hand. Patrick Tuttofuoco looks at communication as a sort of role game, in which borders, hierarchies and distances can be easily reinvented. His “Chindia” is a freeze in which a hybrid cityscape is created by merging architectures, icons and symbols from India and China, that are cut and pasted together as in some mental map of a future continent. Heather Rowe is probably the most traditional sculptor in this group, but her work often tries to transform space and open it up to imaginary travels. Her “Three Flying Buttresses for a Wall” stands as a fragment of architecture, which hovers between the solidity implied in the title and the fragility of its materials. Like some kind of gothic relic that has mysteriously landed within the spaces of the Bloomberg offices, Rowe’s sculpture reminds us of the infinite possibilities of traveling with our imagination, transgressing time through memories and visions. Rowe’s sculpture, like many of the artworks included in ONLY CONNECT, give form to an unstoppable stream of consciousness, depicted with precarious or low-tech materials. Through the selection of artworks and their interaction with the viewer, the exhibition aims to suggest a secret relationship between the grammar of thoughts and the diagrams of international information exchange – a relationship that might be of love and hate, of similarity and contrast. ONLY CONNECT is a celebration of the ecstasy of communication while at the same time it evokes the uncertainty and confusion of today’s digital society and the need to return to a more personal form of exchange.
“Only Connect,” Attitude – Interior Design, No. 22, 2008.