Rosa Barba, The Color Out of Space (detail), 2015, 5 colored glass filters, steel base, HD video, color, sound, 36 min., Installation view at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA, 2015 © Rosa Barba, VG Bild-Kunst Photo: Peter Harris
September 29–December 31, 2017

Time as Landscape

Inquiries of Art and Science

Wonder. It is the experience of awe and inspiration; and also the action of questioning and seeking. Wonder – as experience and action – is cultivated mutually through science and art, and contemporary practices in both fields are more kindred than ever. In fact, their synergies have led in recent years to more overt cross-references and also fruitful and inventive collaborations between artists and scientists. The source of inspiration for this particular exhibition is a selection of artists who desire to understand, question and describe the subject of time: as scientific fact, as relative experience, as aesthetic archive.

The topic is timely as ongoing discussions of STEAM curriculum reverberate in our schools. The preciousness of time is also amplified by growing concerns about the environment and global mortality from a macro perspective to a micro vantage point as individuals struggle to make sense of a faster-paced, connected world where everything runs on the 24-hour news cycle.

Artists include Lucas Arruda, Darren Almond, Rosa Barba, Luis Camnitzer, Julia Dault, Tacita Dean, Noah Doely, Spencer Finch, Charles Gaines, Camille Henrot, On Kawara, Tom LaDuke, Julie Mehretu, Richard Mosse, Trevor Paglen, Howardena Pindell, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Dawn Roe, Tomás Saraceno, Yinka Shonibare, Xaviera Simmons, Sarah Sze, Sara VanDerBeek, and Lawrence Weiner.

For her powerful work The Color Out of Space (2015), Berlin-based Rosa Barba engaged in a yearlong collaboration with scientists at the Hirsch Observatory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The resulting installation with its film and sculptural components is a meditation on scientific inquiry and an interrogation of geologic time in human terms.

The Last Pictures, a project conceived by artist Trevor Paglen, documented our human moment and made it durable beyond conceivable time. The artist selected 100 images to express contemporary human existence and crafted, with the aid of scientists, a super-archival gold-plated disc constructed to last billions of years. This artifact was sent into synchronous orbit on the surface of the communications satellite EchoStar XVI in the fall of 2012. The Last Pictures project required years of investigation, collaboration and cross-disciplinary inquiry. Time as Landscape will include a photograph that documents the EchoStar in orbit.

Time as Landscape provides a framework for interdisciplinary engagement with the broader Rollins community. It will leverage the Museum’s contemporary collection, as well as our capsule collection of watch keys, which will be positioned in a new context to inspire discussion around these historic objects and their relationship to the contemporary. The exhibition will include major loans, and a small catalogue will be published as well.

Xaviera Simmons, (b. 1974), Red Number Two, 2016, Chromogenic color print, Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery
Sara VanDerBeek, (b. 1976), Metal Mirror II (Magia Naturalis), 2013, Digital c-print and Mirona Glass , The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College. Image courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

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