Adventures in curating, or “The Invisible Architect”

July 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm

 

Juan Downey, “Anaconda Map of Chile,” 1973. Photo by Harry Shunk, courtesy of the Juan Downey Foundation.

Just back from a trip to the East Coast to research several upcoming exhibitions and projects. My first stop was the MIT List Visual Art Center to visit the Juan Downey exhibition, The Invisible Architect, which the ASU Art Museum will be presenting this fall. It is a fascinating and complex body of work by a Chilean-born artist who experimented with new technology and its role in our society beginning in the late 1960s. Downey (1940-1993) worked with a number of artists from that period, including Gordon Matta-Clark and Bill Viola, on interactive performances and videos. Much of his early work explored the invisible connections between and among humans, the body and the built environment .

Later he started to explore issues central to his personal history and experiences. In the mid 1970s, he and his family lived for several months with the Yanomami Indians in the Amazon, arriving by canoe with their art materials and video camera. Downey made ironic, pseudo-documentary videos that critiqued Western anthropological approaches.

The sleepers in the exhibition are the beautiful paintings and drawings, many of them maps of the Americas or fantastic architectural structures. The show was featured in Artforum’s summer preview issue; after showing here in Tempe, it will travel to the Bronx Museum.

Ever since my return, I have been working with the rest of the curatorial team to plan for the installation of The Invisible Architect in three of our galleries. We are juggling multiple videos, installations — and an Anaconda.

You never know where curatorial work will take you…more soon.

Heather Sealy Lineberry
Senior Curator and Associate Director,  ASU Art Museum

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Entry filed under: Art + Performance, Art Events, Art Trips, Artists at the Museum, ASU Art Museum, ASU Art Museum Press, ASU Art Museum special events, Exhibition Openings, Juan Downey, Lectures at ASU Art Museum, People at ASU Art Museum, Random Acts of Art, Re-Thinking, Uncategorized, video art. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Curator John D. Spiak Leaving ASU Art Museum for Position in Santa Ana, Calif. Ralph Lemon and Muntadas: More news from our “Re-Thinking the Museum” series


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