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The Transported Man at Broad Art Museum

Yesterday was a picturesque fall day, blue skies, brisk wind, warm and full sunshine. I was in East Lansing meeting a dear friend for lunch. Afterwards we decided to head to Broad Art Museum. If you've never been to the namesake museum of husband and wife contemporary collectors, Eli and Edythe Broad (rhymes with "road"), it's worth the effort. The exhibits are easily accessible and you can spend an afternoon or a few minutes taking in a gallery or two. We bypassed the basement galleries in the interest of time. The jutting lines of the museum are quite beautiful against the pomp and circumstance of MSU's classical buildings. 

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We entered through the west side of the building where we were met with some full-on floor to ceiling trippy, Dada-esque imagery. The exhibit was titled TOILETPAPER.

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Maurizio Cattelan, TOILETPAPER

Maurizio Cattelan, TOILETPAPER

The current main exhibit, The Transported Man, is group exhibition with a number of effective and jaw-dropping works. Inspired by the 1995 novel (and a movie that I will actually watch more than once), The Prestige, asks viewers to suspend their notion of what is reality and believe in the trickery in front of them. 

"The Transported Man exemplifies the three phases of a magic trick, wherein a magician appears onstage (the Pledge), disappears through a door (the Turn), and reappears immediately through another door (the Prestige)."

Ugo Rondinone,  Clockwork for Oracles I , 2008

Ugo Rondinone, Clockwork for Oracles I, 2008

I took a number of awful photos on my phone. Hence, the limited number of images. But I couldn't help but stop in my tracks when I saw Daniel Firman's elephant in the room. 

Daniel Firman,  Loxodont , 2017, resin 

Daniel Firman, Loxodont, 2017, resin 

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I'm not typically one for "bigger is better" but this is one of those pieces you have to see to believe. Known for suspension and balance, Firman's work since 2008 has centered around life size elephants (at one time models of taxidermy) installed in precarious moments. Only after I had referred to the wall and saw that it was "resin", could I circle around the Goliath. I had a visceral response to not only the massiveness, but I was also holding on to the belief that at any moment, the grip of the trunk could be compromised and the 900 pound elephant would come crashing down. (The installation came in three pieces and barely fit through the freight elevator). 

You can feel the desperateness, a pull of falling yet holding on, that moment before the fibers give way, and the inevitable may happen. It's quite delightful and horrifying at the same time. 

There are some other delightful elements of the show, a rumbling intermittent "thunder" produced by instruments. And there's a sweet little Marcel Duchamp tucked upstairs. I also thoroughly enjoyed Ryan Gander's Nathaniel Knows, an installation piece in a quiet room of its own, drywall pulled away to reveal an otherworldly outdoors through a small opening in the floor. It's eerie effect is given even more power as my friend and I got down on our hands and knees and peered in. 

Robin Meier and André Gwerder's piece, Synchronicity, is an immersive experience led by a docent. We walked into a tent (and then another) and entered a world of red glowing outdoors. Inside you hear white noise, buzzing, you see dry brush, bushes, record players, a metronome-pendulum swinging. As the docent stops it, she explains there are crickets chirping as they've assimilated to the artificial noise created. There were lightning bugs glowing to the environmental lights but they sadly succumbed after an arduous trip from Thailand and then being on display for so long...

See a slideshow of some of the pieces mentioned here

The Transported Man is only showing through October 22nd, 2017. If you have an opportunity, I highly recommend a visit to give yourself a moment away from reality. 

Broad Art Museum | Michigan State University, 547 East Circle Drive | $10 suggested donation | Open Tuesday through Sunday, 12-7 pm

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Pop•X: panel discussion and coverage

Image: Current Magazine

Image: Current Magazine

Now that Nick's installation is in place at Pop•X, he can breathe a little easier. The photographs and sculpture came together without too much ado so that was a relief. The festival has been received warmly and we're grateful to Omari Rush and all the artists and organizers for their ardent efforts.

Below are a few places you can read and see photos of the festival if you can't make it. And I'll be moderating the Art for Innovators talk on Workspace Design tomorrow, Monday, Oct 19th. Should be a great time, see you there!

Detroit News

Current Magazine  

Current Mag Facebook page  

MLive  | MLive video

 

 

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A Walk Through Boston

I just got back from my first trip to Boston and I absolutely loved it. Since the time in the city was a quick day trip (before heading to Marblehead to see a dear friend), I didn't do any public trans and put a real wear on my Birkenstocks. I was ready to consume as much public art as I could in a few hours. I'll have to hit up the ICA the next time I'm there and have an entire day to commit.  

Tourist note: One of the things I was really set on seeing was the Janet Echelman installation As If It Were Already Here. I asked a couple people where the "Janet Echelman was" and they gave me the weirdest look before going, "Oh yeah, the big net thing-y is this way..." So just use the word "thing-y" and you'll be fine. 

I heard the time to see this is at night. It's pretty spectacular all the same. 

A dear "old friend", American impressionist Childe Hassam. 

A dear "old friend", American impressionist Childe Hassam. 

Thank you, Ian, for charging my phone. #solarpower

Thank you, Ian, for charging my phone. #solarpower

Washington

Washington

Performance art, sorta, in the North End.

Performance art, sorta, in the North End.


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Cold? Make art.

I've had the pleasure of working with Tim Péwé (and his son Gus) multiple times now. Tim is a sculptor, welder, wood-worker, illustrator, inventor... I could keep going... Most recently I worked with Tim on one of the coldest nights of the year, in his amazing barn-turned-workspace.  Although he had his wearable wood burning stove fired up, the temp inside peaked around 45˚ (note the jackets in the pics, which were taken by Gus).

Getting approval from Tim.

Getting approval from Tim.

I've photographed many works for Tim, ranging from a larger than life skeleton to a puppet named Neandro. The objective this time: a wearable candelabra.

The shots below showcase some of the details.

Because Tim is more prolific than most artists I know, there's always something else that can be photographed. A punching bag...

Or a demon dragging a man down to hell.

I'm excited to see what's next!

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