Massimo De Carlo presents a solo exhibition by American artist Doug Aitken, the artist’s first in China.
In his practice Doug Aitken (b. 1968, Redondo Beach, California) develops and explores the perception of images and narratives in an ongoing investigation of communication in the 21st century and urban, globalized contemporary life. Through monumental billboards, site-specific environments, sound works, photography, sculptures, and immersive video installations the artist investigates the spatial and temporal dislocation of images and the vulnerability of individuals, in a period of massive industrial and environmental changes.
In this new exhibition the artist presents three works, created specifically for this show. Inside me, a brand new creation, is a vast and extraordinarily materic composition created with clear mirror, aluminum, resin and concrete: the hexagon sculpture conveying both stillness and perpetual kaleidoscopic movement.
On the other side of the gallery, large-scale aluminum and stainless steel letters spell the world Future, part of an iconic bodywork made of text pieces. This sculpture is a new development of the series where the artist experiments with stainless steel instead of mirror. About this body of work the artist said: “I felt that our society is moving so fast with information that one of the more radical things I could do is actually to preserve it all, crystallize it all.” The sculpture embodies Aitken’s reflection on acceleration, and the experience of time being more fragmentary in contemporary society.
Mirage is a mesmerizing four-minute video piece that depicts different views of the site- specific installation set in the Southern California desert (situated at the juncture where the rugged San Jacinto mountain range gives way to the Coachella valley) that is composed of reflective mirrored surfaces and modeled on the form of a ranch-style suburban American house. This work extracts the recognizable and repetitious essence of the suburban home into a game of lights and shadows, architecture and landscapes, lines and reflections.
All three works convey the ethereal dream like quality but are also grounded in their materiality. Aitken’s practice allows the viewer to operate as a spectator, actor and voyeur, and the artwork creates thought-provoking self-reflexivity.
Doug Aitken has had notable museum exhibitions such as “Sleepwalkers,” commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York which displayed 7 video screens across the building’s full city block, and the projection of ‘Song 1’ onto the iconic facade Hirshhorn Museum’s in Washington DC. The Deste Foundation in Athens, and Enel Contemporanea in Rome organized similar outdoor video projections. Important solo presentations have been organized by: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2017) Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2015); Nam June Paik Art Center, South Korea (2013); Hirshhorn Museum (2012); Tate Liverpool (2012); Inhotihm, Brazil (2009); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007). Doug Aitken was the recipient of the Golden Lion in the 1999 Venice Biennale.