Oscar Tuazon: FIRE

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21 Herald Street, E2 6JT, London, UK
Open: 11am-6pm Wed-Sun


Oscar Tuazon: FIRE

Oscar Tuazon: FIRE
to Sun 29 Jul 2018
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Maureen Paley presents the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Oscar Tuazon.

Maureen Paley Oscar Tuazon Fire 1

Maureen Paley Oscar Tuazon Fire 2

Maureen Paley Oscar Tuazon Fire 3

Maureen Paley Oscar Tuazon Fire 4

Maureen Paley Oscar Tuazon Fire 5

Oscar Tuazon, (FIRE) for Winona La Duke [Peter van den Berg, Antoine Rocca], 2018. Stainless steel, refractory brick, wood, fire 250 x 60 x 60 cm © Oscar Tuazon, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Oscar Tuazon identifies primarily as a sculptor, though his practice occupies a position between sculptural concerns, architecture and activism. His large-scale installations consist of structures that foreground their own means of construction, most notably through his use of industrial materials. Much of Tuazon’s work is influenced by Minimalist strategies, yet his concerns push far beyond the elements of purity in form. He considers a sculptural installation as being analogous to a house, as both are continuously built, repaired, and maintained. By extension, the act of inhabiting or occupying a space functions as a kind of extension of his artistic production, serving as the undercurrent of his predominantly site-specific practice.

One of Tuazon’s most ambitious projects to date is an architectural installation entitled Zome Alloy – a hollowed wooden structure consisting of eleven traversable polyhedral units, or zomes. The installation is modelled after the Zome Home, a solar-powered house in Albuquerque, New Mexico designed by innovators Steve and Holly Baer. One of the defining features of the Baers’ home is a double-paned glass wall that utilises water as a heating and cooling mechanism. Though passive and sustainable, the system must be manually operated by the home’s residents, an aspect that circles back to Tuazon’s views on sculpture and the way that interaction can actively maintain it.

Tuazon refers to each zome installation as a “water school” as the structure becomes a hub for discussion and education about the environment in which it is located. His studio is the ‘Los Angeles Water School’, or LAWS. The Minnesota site is ‘Winona’s Water School’, in honour of activist Winona LaDuke. Tuazon is planning an additional permanent, public water school in Cedar Spring, Nevada to bring art and awareness to a remote and ecologically fraught region, where the water that has served the community and environment for thousands of years is at risk of being siphoned through a pipeline to serve more commercial areas.

The new exhibition at the Maureen Paley creates a quasi-functional minimalist setting that brings together his Water School project and his work generated in support of the International Leonard Peltier Defence Committee (ILPDC). www.whoisleonardpeltier.info
He encourages all to consider contributing to their ongoing activism through this website.

Included in the exhibition are new papercrete panels that are prototypes made of hemp adobe – a green product developed by Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth using hemp fibres produced at Winona’s farm in Minnesota. These prototypes will be used to test a surface treatment for Winona’s Water School, the section of Zome Alloy that will be built there this summer. The seating structure Protector Structure (Voices of Water), 2017, that was made for the Voices of Water tour Tuazon hosted in his outdoor studio following his time spent at Standing Rock will be shown alongside two new wall-mounted benches – Reading Bench (Leonard Peltier) and Reading Bench (Winona LaDuke). NSRGNTS, Bus Bench (Peltier / NoLine3) – a cast iron bus bench that was recently shown in Language: Art for Leonard Peltier at LAWS, Los Angeles will also be on view. Finally, two new smokeless stoves will be shown in the interior and exterior spaces of the gallery. These are based on design developments by Peter Van den Berg from the Netherlands who Tuazon worked with on Burn the Formwork – his contribution to 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster. Rocket Stove and Winona’s Rocket Stove, (both 2018) will be made on site and are designed to provide safe, efficient wood heating for the two-room Zome school during the sub-zero Minnesota winters. Peter Van den Berg will assist him again in London.

Oscar Tuazon (b. 1975, Seattle) currently lives and works in Los Angeles.  Recent solo exhibitions include: Une Colonne D’eau, part of FIAC 2017, Hors les Murs, Place Vendôme, Paris, France; Building Fire, Radio Athènes, Athens, Greece; Oscar Tuazon, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA 2016; Break the Glass, Castro, Antiparos, Greece, Studio, Le Consortium, Dijon, France and This Won’t Take Long, Paradise Garage, Los Angeles, USA, 2015; Alone in an Empty Room, Museum Ludwig, Köln, Germany 2014 White Walls, Sensory Spaces, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands and Spasms of Misuse, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany, 2013; Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland, 2012; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland. 2010. Recent group shows include The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA; Language: Art for Leonard Peltier, LAWS, Los Angeles Water School, Los Angeles, CA, USA; JAY DEFEO «The Ripple Effect», Le Consortium, Dijon, France, 2018; Skulptur Projekte Münster, Germany, 2017; Beaufort beyond borders, Het Zwin, Belgium, 2015; The Promise, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, 2014; Whitney Biennial 2012, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA, 2012; The Language of Less, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, USA, 2011; ILLUMInations (curated by Bice Curiger), 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, 2011 and Displaced Fractures, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland, 2010.

© Oscar Tuazon, courtesy Maureen Paley, London
© Oscar Tuazon, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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