MIT List Visual Arts Center


Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric presented by MIT List Visual Arts Center

Amalia Pica, Eavesdropper, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Herald St., London.

Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric

Amalia Pica 
MIT List Visual Arts Center
February 8–April 7, 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
April 27–August 11, 2013

Oliver Laric: Versions
MIT List Visual Arts Center
February 8–April 7, 2013

Opening: February 7, 5:30–8pm
MIT List Visual Arts Center
Artist talk with Amalia Pica; João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center; and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, MCA Chicago: 5:30–6:30pm

MIT List Visual Arts Center
20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139

listart.mit.edu

Amalia Pica
Amalia Pica is the first major solo museum exhibition in the US of the London-based artist’s work, providing an in-depth look at nearly a decade of her artistic practice. Using materials such as photocopies, light bulbs, drinking glasses, and cardboard, Amalia Pica (b. 1978, Argentina) confronts the failures, gaps, and slippages of communication. The act of delivering and receiving a verbal or nonverbal message, and the various forms that communicative exchange may take, are central to her work. In Babble, Blabber, Chatter, Gibber, Jabber, Patter, Prattle, Rattle, Yammer, Yada yada yada (2010) Pica spells out the work’s title using semaphore flags. The Catachresis sculptures (2011–) are made with objects whose features are referred to metaphorically as parts of the human body, i.e., the tongue of a shoe, the teeth of a saw, the legs of a table, etc. The title of the series is derived from the literary term describing the misapplication of a word or expression to denote something that does not have a name.

The literal and metaphorical figure of the listener is also at the center of much of Pica’s work. While Acoustic Radar in Cardboard (2010/2012) reimagines an outmoded precursor to radar, Eavesdropper (2011) suggests the complex relationship between listening, privacy, and consent. Other works reflect fleeting moments of shared experience, often incorporating the signifiers of celebration and communal gatherings with fiesta lights, bunting, and confetti.

Born during the period of Argentina’s dictatorship, Pica has long been interested in the relationship between form and politics, and between history and representation. In Venn Diagrams (Under the Spotlight) (2011) the artist addresses the political history of 1970s Argentina when modern mathematics was banned from school programs. Pica also looks to civic participation and social forms that allow people to speak. Stage (as seen on Afghan Star) (2011) alludes to the Afghan television program for aspiring pop stars; for many voting for their favorite, the show offered a rare public forum for the expression of individual opinion. Surveying the artist’s sculpture, performance, installation, video, and drawing, the exhibition is itself conceived as a conversation among Pica’s works across various mediums.

Amalia Pica is co-organized by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and co-curated by João Ribas, MIT List Visual Arts Center, and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, MCA Chicago.


Oliver Laric: Versions
Oliver Laric’s ongoing Versions (2009–) reflects the conditions of our digital world: how original and copy, event and document, are collapsed in a flattened information space where everything is a click away from everything else. Laric’s sculptural and online-based practice addresses how the ontology of the digital affords new epistemic and affective patterns of experience and understanding. Versions evinces how images and objects are continually modified to represent something new, from Roman copies of Greek sculptures, to doctored and augmented images, remixes, and GIFs. The differing versions of Versions themselves address this ongoing history of iconoclasm and copyright. Laric’s exploration of the nature of images and objects in digital space reveals the internet not merely as a space of representation but of direct experience, as the real world is increasingly mediated by screens, and knowledge is replaced by “searching.”

Support for the presentation of Amalia Pica at the MIT List Visual Arts Center has been provided by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric: Versions received generous support from the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Office of the Associate Provost at MIT, the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee, and the Friends of the List.

Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric presented by MIT List Visual Arts Center
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