Mutant bodies, fictional bodies, animate architecture: these are among the provocations offered by Sensate, an exhibition that reflects recent debates about what bodies are and how they are met and mirrored by design.
Distortion no. 78′ by André Kertész, 1933, printed later; gelatin silver print; 9 15/16 x 8 in. Estate of André Kertész.
‘P_wall’ (detail) by Andrew Kudless, 2006/2009; plaster and multichannel audio.
‘Interior #1′ by Aziz & Cucher, 1998; chromogenic print on aluminum mount.
Works from the SFMOMA collection are joined by two large-scale installations fabricated especially for the exhibition. Andrew Kudless’s cast plaster P_Wall covers a 45-foot-long gallery wall, its bulbous, creased texture replacing the smooth surface with a decidedly different kind of skin. Alex Schweder’s A Sac of Rooms All Day Long is a massive, inflatable sculpture that begins as a heap of clear vinyl and, over the course of a day, slowly rises to assume the shape of two houses, one inside the belly of the other. The installations, alongside other works by artists, architects, and designers, replace traditional references to the body with approaches that admit greater complexity, nuance, and uncertainty.
Organized by SFMOMA Architecture and Design Curator Henry Urbach, Sensate: Bodies and Design combines works of different media and scale from SFMOMA’s permanent collection. Works by architects include: Greg Lynn’s Embryologic House (1998) and R&sie’s Mosquito Bottleneck Project (2003). Design objects include: Oscar Niemeyer’s Vertebrae Chair (1970); John Dickinson’s Bone Cigarette Table (1977); Gaetano Pesce’s droopy, cast resin wall sconces (1997); Thom Faulders’s and Anna Rainer’s Undercover Table (1999); and and Marcel Wanders’s Airborne Snotty Vase: Pollinosis (2001). Works by artists include Aziz + Cucher’s Naturalia (2000), a series of fictional medical drawings, and Andre Kertesz’s extraordinary Distortion photographs, dysmorphic nude images made in 1933.
Click here for a podcast in which Andrew Kudless discusses P_Wall, a 45-foot-long wall installation composed of undulating, bulbous forms. Kudless demonstrates the techniques used to create the work at his design studio, Matsys, and describes the ways its form mirrors the human body.
A special events highlights some of the exhibition’s themes:
Andrew Kudless, artist
Alex Schweder, artist
Henry Urbach, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design
Bompas & Parr, jellymongers
Phyllis Wattis Theater
This talk brings architects Kudless and Schweder, whose large-scale installations have been specifically fabricated for the show, into conversation with curator Urbach. The evening is punctuated by a new artist project by London-based Bompas & Parr, who describe their work as operating “in the space between food and architecture. Our projects explore how the taste of food is altered through synaesthesia, performance, and setting.” Jelly is their medium of choice. A curator talk with Urbach precedes the event at 6:30 p.m. This event is presented in conjunction with the AIA San Francisco’s 2009 Architecture and the City festival.
$10 general; $7 SFMOMA members, students, and seniors. Tickets are available at the Museum (with no surcharge) or online.
‘SENSATE: BODIES AND DESIGN’
To 7 Nov 2009
151 Third Street (between Mission + Howard)
San Francisco CA 94103 USA
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