School of Art
Pablo Bronstein, Primitive facade variations (2014), ink and watercolour on paper 6 parts, each part: 115 x 200 cm / 45.2 x 78.7 in approx (unframed). | Courtesy of Herald St, London and Franco Noero, Turin
REDCAT: Opening reception: Friday, January 24, 6–9pm
Daily performances: 3–6pm, or through intermission
Exhibition hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–6pm
The work of London-based artist Pablo Bronstein (Buenos Aires, 1977) is distinguished by a series of projects and public interventions in which he assumes the roles of art historian, architect and choreographer as he reconstructs historical moments and mimics them in tableaux vivants. Camouflaged within the guise of history and imitating architectural forms or urban lifestyles from a certain era, Bronstein reinvents the past with great subtlety and perception.
The newly commissioned project that Pablo Bronstein creates at REDCAT functions as a "staged essay" where the artist articulates, by means of a series of drawings and furniture, the origins of architecture from the naturalistic perspective of the Enlightenment. In a certain way, Bronstein satirizes the insistence with which the architectural culture of the Enlightenment sought to guarantee a "nature" uncontaminated by historical events.
In the gallery, a series of drawings and furniture/buildings appear and together create a traditional 18th-century room. Each unit changes shape and location by means of a set choreography, transforming the suite into an urban plaza reminiscent of the idealized view of a city in traditional Renaissance painting. The intricate setting is activated by a performer who opens, closes and rearranges the objects in the exhibition, and then returns them to their initial state. In their open position, these objects create a complex pattern, imitating the possible uses of a bourgeois city. In their closed position, they return to the rigid and symmetrical grid of the room, an abstract representation of State power and order. Each of these pieces also functions as a sign that refers indirectly to the search for the first building or an architectural model of universal validity. By exaggerating their decorative and constructive morphology, these pieces seem to have an essential and practical function of creating a "real architecture" that emphasizes not the mythological or religious perspectives that dominated in the past, but the archeological interests of Enlightenment thinkers and the historical research into the era.
However, the inherent contradictions that Pablo Bronstein establishes between the drawings and furniture/buildings—the shapes they refer to, their irreducibility to pure theory or mere physicality, functionality or artifice—are also ironic comments about the role of art historians, highlighting the pleasure but also the danger of historical discourse. Pablo Bronstein establishes processes that enable fissures between the past and present, the human and inanimate and, above all, between the practice of history and lived experience. He also questions the common ground between the construction of discourse and the subject of study, as well as our own body and the way we look through objects, involuntarily searching for their capacity to reveal a history to us. As in any historical discourse, Pablo Bronstein creates a temporary, incomplete setting, one that can always change shape, demonstrating to us that there is no single origin, and that the original always seems to be preceded by its copy.
Pablo Bronstein (b. 1977, Buenos Aires) lives and works in London. Solo shows include Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (2013); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2011); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2011); Sculpture Court, Tate Britain, London (2010); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009); and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich (2007).
Pablo Bronstein has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Tate Live: Performance Room at Tate Modern, London (2012); MOVE: Choreographing You at Hayward Gallery, London, Haus der Kunst, Munich, and K20, Dusseldorf (2010–2011); and The Garden of Forking Paths at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich. Pablo Bronstein has participated in Manifesta 8 (2010–2011); Performa 07; The Second Biennial of Visual Arts, New York (2007); and at the Tate Triennale, Tate Britain, London (2006).
His books Postmodern Architecture in London (2007), Ornamental Designs (2008), and Gilded Keyholes (2013) have been published by König Books.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a small publication with an essay from Ellis Woodman (architecture critic and executive editor of BD, London, UK.)
CalArts, F200, A102
ART: A lecture with slides from a projector.
Denise Gonzales Crisp is Professor of Graphic Design, in the College of Design at North Carolina State University, where she served as Department Chair from 2002 to 2006. Prior to arriving at the college in Fall 2002, Gonzales Crisp was senior designer for Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and principal of the studio SuperStove! designing projects such as Artext magazine, Southern California Institute of Architecture lecture series, and books for independent presses. Her design and writing have been published internationally, including KAK (RU), Graphis, Émigré, Metropolis, Eye (UK), Print, and Items (NL) magazines, and in juried competitions such as ACD 100, Communication Arts, I.D., and Graphis. Her work was featured in the 2002 exhibition East Coast/West Coast Dreams, (Paris), in the 2005 anthology All Access: The Making of Thirty Extraordinary Graphic Designers, and the 2009 exhibition Dimension+Typography (Chicago). Juried and commissioned essays are included in Design and Culture Journal, Items Magazine, and Design Observer, plus Design Research, The Design Dictionary and several other anthology volumes.
Gonzales Crisp has lectured widely, and has been a featured speaker at TypeCon 2010 (Los Angeles), ATypI 2009 (Mexico City), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), GraficEurope (Berlin), RMIT (Melbourne), ArtCity (Calgary), and numerous colleges and universities including California Institute of the Arts, Yale, Parsons, Maryland Institute College of Art, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Art Center, and California College of the Arts.
Teaching positions include core faculty in the graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and a 12 year part-time appointment at Art Center in the undergraduate graphic design program. Additionally Gonzales Crisp has held regular part-time appointments at California Institute of the Arts and Otis Art Institute.
Her research areas include defining the DecoRational (a term she coined); defending and writing alternative design discourse; and most recently, a speculative project, “Tools That Make Type.” She is the author of Relational Typography: Systems, Context, Form, Message (working title), Thames & Hudson, Fall 2011. Additional current work includes co-curating an exhibition for the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), Raleigh, entitled Deep Surface: Contemporary Ornament and Pattern (September 2011), and creating new work for the exhibition Getting Upper, curated by Amos Klausner for the Pasadena Museum of California Art (May 2011).
CalArts, F200, A102
ART: A lecture with slides from a projector.
Roman Jaster is a graphic designer and web developer based in Los Angeles.
His work is focused on web design and development, as well as print and book design. From his shared studio space in Downtown Los Angeles, he works on commissioned projects, often for cultural organizations and artists.
Roman graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 where he now teaches web design courses. Roman finds delight in baking hearty loaves of bread, playing his guitar in the band Pawing at the Ceiling, and the fact that a copy of the L.A. Times lands in front of his dwelling every morning.