New year, new wandering, wondering. At the tail end of ’09 I had the chance to travel to Israel. Political perceptions accumulated from media and from friends involved in the region fizzled into surface-level encounters of the sun-soaked sort. The Baha’i Gardens in Haifa were spectacular; Masada was a good hike; the Dead Sea was a novel playpool. I’m sure on the other side of the wall grit and glory tumble with more turbulence. I’ll have to visit the region for a more extended period to absorb it all.

Meanwhile I’m getting excited for a different trip, coming up in about a month: Mexico City! A dear friend had made the place home for over a year and is soon departing. I have to catch up with her before she leaves.

And speaking of Mexico, A recently blogged on Exodus about the Gabriel Orozco retrospective at MoMA. Here in lil ol’ Beantown, the ICA put on the first-ever survey of Damian Ortega‘s work, also coming out of Mexico City and highly influenced by Orozco.

With work spanning 1996 – 2007, Ortega’s sculptural objects are “exploded, deconstructed, collapsed, and unbalanced.” For example, the above from the Beetle Trilogy, asks viewers to reconsider the vehicle that Hitler originally commissioned as the ideal mode of transport for the Third Reich, allowing for our bodies to weave in and out of the schematized parts that hang from the ceiling. Among my favorites were variations of the glass Coke bottle, blown to anthropomorphized sensual curves and flora-like mouth-blooms. I noted a quote from Ortega that, for me, exemplifies the material considerations he stretches with plastic imagination: “The skin as the border of the body. The wall as the limit of a living space.” These notions also happen to be ones that I’m starting to take up for my own research.

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