“Simon Starling: Metamorphology”

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Chicago)
220 East Chicago Avenue
June 7–November 2, 2014

Curated by Dieter Roelstraete and Janine Mileaf

Metamorphology, a term borrowed from Goethe’s protoevolutionary theory, is a persuasive catchall for Simon Starling’s practice, which is postmedium—and multimedia—yet full of research-heavy, labor-intensive, material transformations. This first major museum survey in the US will include, among eleven ambitious works from the past decade, a propped two-ton slab of Romanian steel titled after Brancusi’s 1923 Bird in Space, which Duchamp had likewise shepherded through US customs, duty-free, some eighty years earlier—but only after a protracted court case over its aesthetic status. Another modernist giant hovers over Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima), 2010, an installation marshaling complex cross-cultural narratives linking Henry Moore, early atomic research, and the provenance of materials. The catalogue includes contributions by Mark Godfrey, the curators, and Starling himself.

Travels to the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Feb.–Apr. 2015.