Thursday, March 29, 2012
Arcadian Boxes brings together works by contemporary artists interested in the confrontation between geometrical volumes and structures on the one hand and the whimsicalness and irregularity of nature on the other. In so doing, these artists situate themselves in an age-old tradition that goes back to megalithic structures characterized by simple geometrical shapes. This fascination for the confrontation between nature and simple geometry also marks the Greek temple and the tradition of the Picturesque, which favored the disposition of neoclassical buildings in rustic gardens. In addition, the juxtaposition of nature and geometry runs like a red thread through modernity, from Goethe’s so-called Good Luck Stone or his Altar of Agathe Tyche (ca 1777) in Weimar to Le Corbusier’s building slabs in park-like environments and the construction of so-called “scenic highways.” Finally, the Earth Works by artists such as Smithson, Heizer, De Maria, and Long in the late 1960s and 1970s epitomized this age-old tradition.
Arcadian Boxes includes works by contemporary artists who share these age-old fascinations for the confrontation between geometry and nature. However, the exhibition focuses on works that also add new perspectives and new definitions of these relations. Some artists make clear that a simple juxtaposition between nature and geometry is simply impossible. Others emphasize that introducing geometry in the landscape inevitably entails its opposite, i.e. containing the landscape in a box. Still others focus on the perception of the landscape. Seeing the landscape becomes an act of measuring or demarcation and geometrical volumes are presented as viewing devices that enable us to enjoy the irregularity of nature.
Dan Graham, Dirk Zoete, Elias Heuninck, Ellen Harvey, Geert Goiris, Gregor Neuerer
Curated by Steven Jacobs
Siakos Hanappe House of Art, Glyfada, Athens
5 April- 24 May 2012