Gallery hoppers can sample a variety of visual art forms starting Feb. 10, at new exhibitions at four campus art venues--Compton Gallery, List Visual Arts Center, Wolk Gallery and the Media Test Wall.
"Constructing Stata: Photographs of Richard Sobol," a collection of unpublished photographs that capture the construction process of the Frank Gehry-designed Stata Center, opens at the Compton Gallery (Room 10-150).
Richard Sobol observed and recorded the construction of the Stata Center for more than three years. "Like the hundreds of craftspeople who came to work each morning to put together Frank Gehry's design, my challenge was to stay focused on small moments and individual processes, while all around grand events were taking place," said Sobol, a Boston-based artist whose photographs are featured in "Building Stata" (MIT Press, 2004).
Sobol will give a gallery talk Friday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m., followed by a reception from 5:30-7 p.m. in Lobby 10. "Constructing Stata" will be on view through June 15. Gallery hours are weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
List Visual Arts Center
Two shows open at the List Center Galleries (Room E15-109) with a reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tomorrow.
"Pavel Braila" is the first solo exhibition in the U.S. for Braila, who was born in Chisinau, Moldova, in 1971, where he still resides. Much of his work documents contemporary life in the Republic of Moldova, a small country located between Romania and Ukraine which has a long history of foreign domination. It is the only former Soviet-bloc country to democratically re-elect its former communist leader.
This exhibition premieres "Baron's Hill" (2004), a large-scale installation consisting of six 11' x 7' video projections and a selection of large-scale photographs that record the homes of the leaders of the Roma in the Moldovan city of Soroca. These homes, whose construction began in the early 1990s, are elaborate architectural fantasies often inspired by a postcard, a reproduction of an old painting, or an image from a film. The homes often lack residents; they are saved for big parties or special guests. This exhibition was organized by Jane Farver, director of the List Center.
"Shoes for Europe" (2002), a 10' x 16' projection of a film accompanied by a short text, documents the painstaking, grinding process of changing the Russian wheel gauges still used on Moldovan trains at the border between Moldova and Romania. "Shoes for Europe" has a "formal, hypnotic beauty that transforms this colossal task--performed on a dark snowy night--into something mythical and heroic," said Farver.
Braila will present an artist talk at the List Center on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m.
"Kimsooja: Seven Wishes and Secrets," an exhibition by the Korean-born, New York-based artist, includes her videos "Sewing into Walking: Kyoung Ju" (1994) and "Invisible Mirror" (2003), as well as works from her recent portfolio, "The Seven Wishes" (2004), which consists of large Iris prints of the fabrics traditionally given to newlyweds in Korea.
In the video, "Sewing into Walking," the artist wanders slowly through a landscape gathering the fabrics, creating beauty in the conscious performance of daily rituals. The video was taped outside of Kyoung Ju, an ancient and spiritually significant city in Korea.
"Invisible Mirror" continues Kimsooja's experiments with colored light; the lush colors of fabrics dissolve into a sequence of colors.
The List Center shows run through April 10. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The gallery is open until 8 p.m. on Fridays.
Media Test Wall
In conjunction with Kimsooja's exhibition at the List Center, videos she created between 1999 and 2001 will be screened at the Media Test Wall in Building 56. These videos, "A Needle Woman," document Kimsooja dressed in simple gray clothing standing rigidly in the busy streets of Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, New York, Mexico City, Cairo, Lagos and London. With her back to the camera, the chaos of the streets swirls around her as people flow past. Some people stare, while others seem annoyed by her; their reactions speak to the culture of each city.
"dECOi Architects" opens at the Wolk Gallery (Room 7-338). The exhibition is a showcase of 10 years of work by dECOi, a speculative architecture and design practice recognized for giving articulate expression to the formal and material opportunities offered by digital technologies.
dECOi is based in London, Kuala Lumpur and Paris, where it was founded in 1991 as a research group with an international vocation. It encompasses a broad experimental field that covers design, installations, architectural projects and theoretical works. The Wolk exhibition focuses on dECOi's recent MIT research projects--'Bankside Paramorph' and the Miran Galerie fashion showroom.
An opening reception at the gallery on Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. will be followed by a lecture by Mark Coulthorpe of dECOi Architects at 7 p.m. in Room 7-431. The exhibition will be on view through April 8. Regular gallery hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 9, 2005 (download PDF).