Winter 2014 exhibitions

Winter 2014 exhibitions

MIT List Visual Arts Center

Sonia Almeida, Silver Screen, 2013. Oil on marine plywood, green LEDs, 64 x 82 1/2 inches. The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College.

February 5, 2014

Winter 2014 exhibitions

Sonia Almeida: Forward/Play/Pause

Helen Mirra and Ernst Karel: Hourly Directional
Hans Op de Beeck: Staging Silence (2)
February 7–April 6, 2014

Opening: Thursday, February 6, 5–8pm
Artist’s talk by Hans Op de Beeck, 6pm
Wiesner Building E15, Bartos Theatre

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

Sonia Almeida: Forward/Play/Pause
The work of Sonia Almeida explores the disjunction between our sensory experience of color and the ways in which the scientific analysis of color is thought to provide facts about reality. In doing so, Almeida engages the limits of abstraction and how elements traditionally associated with other mediums and disciplines can be operative in painting.

Stacking π and Dismantling π relate the Greek origins of Western thought on abstraction to the symbol π, used to symbolize the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and which represents an infinite string of numbers. “What can be more abstract,” Almeida notes, “than the idea of the infinite in a mathematical constant?” A number of her works also connect to ancient color theory and the belief that all color arises from a mixture of black and white.

By looking to how painting can share in the codes or norms of other art forms, Almeida’s work serves as a type of “re-mediatization.” Screens or projections, most often associated with film, are operative in her leaning floor pieces, such as Blue Filter, and in her paintings backlit by LEDs. Forward/Play/Pause and Silver Screen also relate painting to moving images by connecting archetypal forms, such as the vessel, to icons for media interaction, which taken together support an experience of continuity between discontinuous objects and temporalities.

Almeida often translates forms and concepts explored through her sketchbooks into other supports. These sketchbooks, a selection of which are on view, draw forth her interest in the relationship between translation and the loss of information as a visual and temporal phenomenon, much as precise colors cannot be reproduced when converting between color spaces that occupy different subsets of the visible spectrum.

Hourly Directional: Helen Mirra and Ernst Karel
For a number of years, Helen Mirra has been walking in different parts of the world as a means of generating works. Often the materialized aspect is a kind of paced printmaking or terse field notes she makes at intervals over the course of the day, and in some cases, Mirra and Ernst Karel collaborate on hourly location recordings. Hourly directional sound recording, Mata Atlântica, Brazil (2012) is a quadraphonic sound installation by Mirra and Karel composed of location recordings made during eleven days of walking in remnants of coastal rainforest in southeastern Brazil.

Stopping once each hour, Mirra and Karel used a compass to locate magnetic north. Two consecutive one-minute stereo recordings were made by holding microphones at the ends of outstretched arms, the first with arms out to north and south, and the second with arms out to east and west. At a distance from the microphones that increases each hour, the sound of a triangle, rung with a wooden mallet, indicates the direction of the path at that moment. The triangle sounds for one second in the first hour, two seconds in the second hour, three in the third, and so on, and at the start of the minute in the first hour, after seven seconds in the second hour, after fourteen in the third, and so on. These two-channel recordings were then paired for quadraphonic playback.

Hans Op de Beeck: Staging Silence (2)
Hans Op de Beeck’s various works across mediums show the viewer non-existent but identifiable places, moments, and characters that appear to have been taken from everyday life. His black-and-white video Staging Silence (2) is based around abstract, archetypal settings that linger in the memory of the artist as the common denominator of the many similar public places he has experienced. These memory images are disproportionate mixtures of concrete information and fantasies, and here they materialize through anonymous tinkering hands. Arms and hands appear and disappear at random, manipulating everyday objects into miniaturized, artificially lit environments. The on-camera construction and deconstruction of these environments lends the video a narrative weight that emphasizes the uncanny quality of spaces committed to memory.

Sonia Almeida: Forward/Play/Pause and Hourly Directional: Helen Mirra and Ernst Karel are curated by List Assistant Curator Alise Upitis.

Hans Op de Beeck: Staging Silence (2) is curated by List Director Paul C. Ha.

Support for these exhibitions has been generously provided by the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Office of the Associate Provost at MIT, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, TOKY, the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee, and the Friends of the List. Additional support provided by Simone Subal Gallery for Sonia Almeida: Forward/Play/Pause; Peter Freeman, Inc. New York/Paris for Hourly Directional: Helen Mirra and Ernst Karel; and Marianne Boesky Gallery and Vlaamse Overheid Kunsten en Erfgoed/Flemish Government Arts and Heritage for Hans Op de Beeck: Staging Silence (2).


MIT List Visual Arts Center winter 2014 exhibitions
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