chicago

Simon Starling, Bird in Space, 2004, Romanian steel plate, inflatable jacks, helium tank, hose, 6' × 20' 1/8“ × 11 5/8”.

Simon Starling

Museum of Contemporary Art / Arts Club of Chicago

Simon Starling, Bird in Space, 2004, Romanian steel plate, inflatable jacks, helium tank, hose, 6' × 20' 1/8“ × 11 5/8”.

“Metamorphology,” the economical survey of Simon Starling’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, comprised just eleven works. But complementing the artist’s first retrospective at an American museum, an affiliated show that ran concurrently at the neighboring Arts Club of Chicago (titled “Pictures for an Exhibition”) additionally presented a major new, site-specific installation. Only a dozen works all told, yet each represents such a dense network of material, geographical, social, and historical narratives that one hardly needed more. The MCA exhibition began, appropriately enough, with Flaga 1972–2000 (A Fiat 126 produced in Turin, Italy, in 1974 and customized using parts manufactured and fitted in Poland, following a journey of 1290 km from Turin to Cieszyn), 2002. Hung high overhead on the wall of the museum’s central atrium, Flaga introduced from the outset some of the

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