Daniel Quiles

  • View of “Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation,” 2016.
    picks October 14, 2016

    “Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation”

    As Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Okwui Enwezor, and many others have observed, the photographic archive inevitably exceeds its function as repository of exhaustive records; the viewer adds mnemonic and affective experience in encountering this informational space. Focusing on Rifat Chadirji, a key figure in Iraq’s postwar modernization, “Every Building in Baghdad” accentuates this archival excess to devastating effect.

    Chadirji copiously photographed his nearly one hundred realized architectural projects—factories, universities, and office buildings, as well as other sites in and around Baghdad and

  • Sanford Biggers, Laocoön (detail), 2015, vinyl, electric air pump, 72 × 60 × 120". Installation view, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, 2015–16.

    “Sanford Biggers: Subjective Cosmology”

    Over the past two decades, Sanford Biggers has woven references to African American culture, Eastern spirituality, and global music and dance traditions into patchwork myths and rituals. This exhibition promises to broaden our perspective on the artist’s ambitious speculative histories, with a presentation of recent and newly made site-specific works, including Shatter, 2016, which makes its debut here. Following Shuffle, 2009, and Shake, 2011, Shatter is the final installment of Biggers’s multichannel video trilogy filmed at key points along the North Atlantic

  • Sanford Biggers, BAM (For Michael), 2016, bronze with black patina, plinth, 61 × 10 1/2 × 10 1/2". From the series “BAM,” 2015–.

    Sanford Biggers

    Sanford Biggers’s video BAM (For Michael), 2015, ostensibly documents a series of mediations to a new series of bronze figurines based on colorful wooden statuettes that the artist originally purchased from street vendors in Harlem. The figures were dipped in wax, shot repeatedly with a rifle and a shotgun, and then cast in bronze and given a black patina. The video captures the bullets hitting a male figurine, sending shards of wood flying into the air. Shot in the leg, the figure inevitably falls over. Each crack of the gun elicits a cut—shot for shot, as it were—and a shift in

  • Mónica Mayer, Lo normal (On Normality) (detail), 1978, offset and stamp-pad ink on paper, 25 1/2 × 28".

    Mónica Mayer

    “And all of this is a . . . work of art?” talk-show host Guillermo Ochoa asks artists Maris Bustamante and Mónica Mayer, the two members of Polvo de Gallina Negra (Black Hen’s Powder), on an episode of Nuestro Mundo (Our World) that originally aired August 28, 1987, on Mexican television. Madre por un día (Mother for a Day), the artists’ intervention on the program, involved the temporary transformation of Ochoa into an expectant mother: The artists adorn him with a “pregnant” apron and a crown in honor of the “queen of her house—until the baby is born.” Initially he plays along, claiming

  • Ivan Lozano, Narcomantas (Hanged Men II), 2015, vinyl, packing tape, ink, copper, rope, 72 x 54".
    picks March 14, 2016

    “Present Standard”

    A showcase of twenty-five intensive studio-based practices, “Present Standard” casts welcome light on a core of Latin American and Latinx artists who have coalesced in Chicago over the past decade or so. Curators Edra Soto and Josué Pellot invoke the perennial question of identity—embodied by the normalizing measure of a “standard”—as a double-edged sword: a wellspring of distinctive content that risks becoming an essentializing, market-friendly limitation.

    Expanded abstraction predominates, thanks in part to Cándida Alvarez and José Lerma, local professors and polar opposite in their approaches.

  • “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: A Universe of Fragile Mirrors”

    Since the early 2000s, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz has made videos that interweave social engagement and speculative fiction. The artist works with nonprofessional actors from diverse backgrounds to collectively investigate economic, ecological, and political challenges within the Caribbean. Projects such as Archivo, 2001, involve the reenactment of personal and political crises, as if history could be altered or ameliorated. Others, such as the Creative Capital–funded Verano de mujeres (Summer of Women), 2015, make imaginative use of documentary footage of marginalized

  • “Edgardo Antonio Vigo: Obras 1953–1997”

    Based in La Plata, outside Buenos Aires, Edgardo Antonio Vigo played a key role in advancing Argentinean art from the 1950s until his death in 1997. Vigo explored a range of approaches, including neo-Dada sculpture, elaborate works on paper, mail art, visual poetry, and street-based actions. This show will feature some 230 objects and works on paper, including excerpts from the artist’s influential publications such as Diagonal cero and Hexágono ’71. A 250-page catalogue will publish elements of Biopsia, Vigo’s career-spanning autobiographical

  • Gordon Matta-Clark, Circus, 1978, Cibachrome, 40 × 30".

    Gordon Matta-Clark

    “The first thing that one notices is that violence has been done,” Gordon Matta-Clark said of his “anarchitectures,” the series of geometric cuts into buildings slated for demolition that he realized in the 1970s. “You see that light enters places it otherwise couldn’t.” Produced in January 1978 in a three-story brownstone soon to be converted into an annex of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Circus or The Caribbean Orange was the last project Matta-Clark completed prior to his untimely death in August of that year. It was also the artist’s only site-specific museum commission, complete

  • Members of TVDO collective, contributors to the 1st Videobrasil Festival, São Paulo, 1983. From left: Ney Marcondes, Walter Silveira, Tadeu Jungle, and Paulo Priolli.

    19th Contemporary Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil: “Southern Panoramas”

    The nineteenth iteration of Videobrasil will (like its predecessors) serve as a contemporary counterpoint to a recent surge of biennials devoted to historical networks of the Global South. The festival, founded by Farkas in 1983, has for the past two decades privileged what it calls “Southern Panoramas,” juxtaposing art production in Brazil with that of other nations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Curated via open-call submissions, the show will present sixty-two artists and collectives, hailing from

  • Doris Salcedo, Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer), 2008–10, wood, concrete, earth, grass. Installation view.

    Doris Salcedo

    Doris Salcedo’s well-known “Untitled” series, 1989–2008, features pieces of domestic furniture—chairs, armoires, cabinets, and tables—that have been fused together with concrete and steel into haunting amalgams. That clothing is sometimes visible within the sections of concrete, its softness frozen and locked within the rigid horizontals and verticals of the intersecting objects, only reinforces the sense of the uncanny that pervades these works. Salcedo’s sculpture insists on decelerated, meticulous viewing: One must circumambulate the objects within the exhibition space to pinpoint

  • View of “Gabriel Sierra,” 2015.
    picks May 29, 2015

    Gabriel Sierra

    Gabriel Sierra’s “Assembly Instructions” requests that visitors enter “as slowly as possible while smiling softly” and then stop smiling once they step beyond a delimited area. The fourteen stations spread throughout the gallery space, ranging from subtle markings to quasi-architectural constructions, each feature similarly witty or melancholic directives describing its function. Some such as “Area for People Wearing Old Shoes” give purpose to spaces or objects rather than scripting behavior. All the stations are white, matching the walls of the institution’s polygonal space; the simple rectangular

  • Jesús Rafael Soto, Doble progresión azul y negra (Double Progression Blue and Black), 1975, paint, metal, 10' × 11' × 11' 3".

    Jesús Rafael Soto

    Jesús Rafael Soto’s late works stage elaborate visual puzzles. Take Sans titre (Aléatoire 2) (Untitled [Random 2]), 1996, as an example. More than six feet high and thirteen across, this mural-scale construction features ultrathin white vertical stripes on a black ground. Superimposed on this surface is a grid of sixteen by thirty-two tiny squares, some raised off the plane and some lying flat. The majority of the squares have the same pattern of stripes set horizontally, so that these clash painfully with the verticals behind them, producing the signature “vibration” effect of Op art. Twenty-four