Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Mistake

The ICA is proud to present the first solo exhibition in a British public gallery of Oscar Tuazon, a US-born, Paris-based artist, writer and curator. Tuazon's artwork is largely sculptural in nature, taking on a formal language situated between architecture, Minimalist art and an aesthetic peculiar to the utilitarian constructions of outsider communities. Comprised of a combination of natural and industrial materials, Tuazon's structures create tension both between their physical parts and with the spaces they inhabit.

Oscar Tuazon, Untitled, 2010
Installation view, Kunsthalle Bern

Adopting the problems and materials of structural engineering and hands-on construction, Tuazon's intervention in the ICA building will be comprised of a number of repeating modular units, made from large wooden beams. The structure will push the physical boundaries of the gallery space, forcing it to adapt and to reengineer itself in order to accommodate the work. Built on site and without plans, the resulting mesh of struts and columns will have an improvised, precarious quality that, in its disregard for the conventional boundaries between the ICA gallery and its other public spaces, suggests the artwork's struggle for autonomy. This will be an object potentially freed from the constraining rules of architecture and art, an object that can survive on its own, without a roof overhead or a structure to house it, or even someone to see it.

The ICA installation is an extension of Tuazon's long-standing interest in how the built environment is redefined and redesigned by the act of inhabitation. Drawing on the methodology of Henry David Thoreau, put forward in his philosophical treatise, Walden (1854), Tuazon's previous works have confronted nature and architecture to suggest that a particular lifestyle can manufacture the space around it. The development of a structure that surrounds the viewer, as opposed to existing on a human scale, constitutes a new trajectory for Tuazon that he first fully explored in an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland earlier in 2010. At the ICA, this strand of his work will continue to grow, with the structure evolving in and negotiating with the space in which it is situated.

Oscar Tuazon was born in 1975 in Seattle, Washington, USA. He moved to Paris in 2007 and co-founded the artist-run collective and gallery, castillo/corrales. His numerous solo shows include Kunsthalle Bern (2010), Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2009), David Roberts Foundation, London (2009) and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007).

The exhibition, curated by the ICA's Charlotte Bonham-Carter, will coincide with the release of a comprehensive catalogue on Tuazon's work, published by Kunsthalle Bern, Do.Pe. Press, Paraguay Press, Centre international d'art et du paysage de l'île de Vassivière and Parc Saint Léger – Centre d'art contemporain.

Oscar Tuazon
My Mistake
4 June – 15 August 2010
Institute of Contemporary Arts,