Wednesday, 9 January 2008
MARJETICA POTRC IN NY
Marjetica Potrč, The Return to Archetypes, 2007, ink on paper, 22 1/4 x 29 3/4 inches
Two New Exhibitions by Marjetica Potrč at Max Protetch, New York
Future Talk Now: The Great Republic of New Orleans
Samuel Mockbee: Mythology
curated by Marjetica Potrč
January 12–February 9
Opening reception Saturday, January 12, 6—8pm
Max Protetch Gallery is pleased to announce two concurrent January exhibitions: a show of new work by Marjetica Potrč and one of drawings by architect Samuel Mockbee, curated by Potrč.
Focused on the changing landscape of post-Katrina New Orleans, Potrč’s show will feature a new, large-scale case study sculpture based on a New Orleans shotgun house; a video that examines the city’s relationship to water; and drawings and prints. The Shotgun House sculpture will include figurative caryatids as architectural columns; this marks the first time the human form has been addressed so directly in Potrč’s work.
Selected as a fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics in New York, Potrč has been conducting research in New Orleans over the past year. She has focused on issues of sustainability, water, and the emergence of new geographic and political territories based on changing ecology, working to create artworks that address those issues in a larger global context. Operating at the interface of architecture, art and social science, Potrč has conducted research along these lines all over the world, and has shown artworks based on her findings and collaborations in numerous institutions and international exhibitions. In 2000 she received the Hugo Boss Prize. She has had solo exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, Barbican Art Galleries, Portikus, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, among others, and has participated in the Venice and Sao Paolo Biennials and Skulptur Projekte Muenster.
Future Talk Now: The Great Republic of New Orleans highlights the role of small-scale initiatives as basic building blocks of urban architecture. Her case studies examine the ways in which infrastructure is created from the bottom up by individuals either in response to political or ecological change or simply to improve their lives. The societies she examines, including New Orleans, have undergone political or climatic changes that have made Modernism’s social contracts untenable. Potrč ’s sculptures and drawings often document the emergence of new, small-scale territories that seem to supercede political borders and are shaped around natural resources.
The Shotgun House, the large-scale sculpture in the exhibition, is based on a form typical to New Orleans architecture. Lately this local style has begun to undergo modifications as inhabitants have outfitted their homes with additions that allow them to harvest rainwater and solar power. The two figurative caryatids that support the roof at the front of the house refer to the origins of the shotgun house style in Greek Revival architecture and African tradition. They also stand as literal reminders that New Orleans is being rebuilt by its citizens.
Potrč has also curated Mythology, an exhibition of drawings by architect Samuel Mockbee (1944—2001) on view in the gallery’s Project Space. Mockbee, co-founder of the Rural Studio at the University of Alabama, championed an inspiring combination of progressive architectural form and social responsibility. He and his students constructed houses for the rural poor that addressed design and sustainability issues as well as community development and human dignity. The current exhibition explores a series of archetypes that Mockbee developed through his architectural and artistic processes, and that were drawn from diverse regions of his own personal geography.