February 5, 2020 - SculptureCenter - Rafael Domenech: Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion) / In Practice: Total Disbelief
February 5, 2020


[1] Installation view, Rafael Domenech: Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion), SculptureCenter, New York, 2020. Photo courtesy the artist. [2] Andrew Norman Wilson, Z = |Z/Z•Z-1 mod 2|-1:, 2020. HD video, color, sound. 13:43 minutes. Courtesy the artist. [3] Devin Kenny and Andrea Solstad, Untitled (Purves St.), 2020. Modified car. 202.4 x 71.8 x 55 inches (514.1 x 182.4 x 139.7 cm). Courtesy the artists. Photos: Kyle Knodell.

Rafael Domenech: Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion)
In Practice: Total Disbelief
January 16–March 23, 2020

44-19 Purves St
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States
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Rafael Domenech: Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion)
For his new commission at SculptureCenter, Rafael Domenech creates a large-scale modular installation in the ground floor gallery. Responding to the conditions of the exhibition space as a former trolley repair shop, Domenech uses the building’s existing structure, in particular the tracks of an industrial gantry system, as a machine to produce and facilitate the work. Working with materials typically destined for construction sites, the work engages with the urban vernacular of the rapidly growing neighborhood of Long Island City.

Depending on the time and purpose of encounter with Domenech’s exhibition, the installation functions simultaneously at multiple levels: as a sculpture, a decentered architectural model, a pavilion, and a venue for public programs and gatherings. As such, the work acknowledges the varied possibilities and promises of contemporary art institutions. By installing large panels made of aluminum framed construction mesh the artist creates what he calls “space modulators” that create multiple architectural configurations. Domenech considers the book as a standardized unit, organizational mechanism and an architectural device. This is further articulated by the artist’s research in concrete poetry as a strategy to suggest different ways of handling and approaching a book according to the direction and the distribution of sentences on the page. In this instance, in addition to writings by the artist, the installation distributes two poems by exiled Neo-Baroque Cuban poet, novelist, essayist, and critic Severo Sarduy (1937-1993) that concretize a poetics of dislocation. In addition, the installation includes elements from Domenech’s work previously installed in the SculptureCenter exhibition Searching the Sky for Rain, as well as parts from Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria], his recent outdoor pavilion at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Addressing an economy of means in his production, the artist shows how artwork exists in the ecology of a practice at the intersection of studio, institution, and urban space.

The exhibition is curated by Sohrab Mohebbi, Curator, with Kyle Dancewicz, Director of Exhibitions and Programs.

Related Programming:
Rafael Domenech in conversation with José Esparza Chong Cuy
March 19, 2020

In Practice: Total Disbelief
In Practice: Total Disbelief considers artistic engagements with dimensions of doubt as they contribute to the formation of social life. Across media, the works in the exhibition engage formal tools that uphold belief and produce what we consider to be true—narrative and cinematic tropes, photographic technologies, empiricism, and others—and use them to make any number of other truth claims. While characterized on one hand by the clean slate of a baseline lack of faith, an active engagement with disbelief also means taking stock of astonishment, navigating defense mechanisms, and pitting skepticism against a real desire to be convinced and to know. In Practice: Total Disbelief posits that artworks are the products and by-products of these dynamics, appearing as objects, images, and activities that sustain uncertainty, not in the least about the capacities of the art object itself.

The exhibition features newly commissioned works by: Qais Assali, Andrew Cannon, Jesse Chun, Hadi Fallahpisheh, Ficus Interfaith, Emilie Louise Gossiaux, Laurie Kang, Devin Kenny and Andrea Solstad, K.R.M. Mooney, sidony o’neal, Mariana Silva, Jordan Strafer, and Andrew Norman Wilson and is curated by Kyle Dancewicz, SculptureCenter’s Director of Exhibitions and Programs.

Related Programming:
In Practice Roundtable: I Want To Believe
February 4, 2020, 7pm

When Truth Kills Truth
Jordan Strafer and Phoebe Osborne
February 20, 2020, 7pm

Upcoming exhibitions
May 9–August 17, 2020
Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit (travelling survey exhibition)
Jesse Wine (new commission)

September 13-December 14, 2020
Liz Larner: Fe (travelling survey exhibition)

January-March 2021
Rindon Johnson (new commission)
In Practice (annual open call)

About SculptureCenter
Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion) is made possible by the Friends of Rafael Domenech. Support for In Practice: Total Disbelief is generously provided by Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins.

Lead underwriting support of SculptureCenter’s Exhibition Fund has been generously provided by the Kraus Family Foundation with additional support by Jane Hait and Justin Beal, and Toby Devan Lewis.

SculptureCenter leads the conversation on contemporary art by supporting artistic innovation and independent thought highlighting sculpture’s specific potential to change the way we engage with the world. Positioning artists’ work in larger cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts, SculptureCenter discerns and interprets emerging ideas. Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter provides an international forum that connects artists and audiences by presenting exhibitions, commissioning new work, and generating scholarship.

For more information, please visit www.sculpture-center.org.

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In Practice: Total Disbelief
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