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November 14, 2015

Robert Irwin, Ernesto Neto & Judith Barry @ MCASD, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California

Robert Irwin, Ernesto Neto, Judith Barry
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
November 20, 2015 - February 21, 2016



The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present three large-scale works from its permanent collection by artists Robert Irwin, Ernesto Neto, and Judith Barry at its downtown location from November 20, 2015 through February 21, 2016. The installations will fill each gallery with immersive artworks that engage viewer’s experience of physical space, light, and sound.

Robert Irwin: Light and Space
Light itself focuses and diffuses our gaze in Irwin’s environmental light installation Light and Space (2007). The piece creates a dialogue between solid architecture and empty space mediated by electric light—three forms of matter at different accelerations. Driven by an attention to phenomenological experience rather than illusion, Irwin’s work is an inquiry into the nature of perception.  Irwin’s early examinations into the nexus between what is seen and perceived with the senses, in addition to the physical conditions of a site, helped to define the aesthetics and issues of the West Coast Light and Space movement in the late 1960s. In this work—developed during Irwin’s residency in MCASD’s Robert Caplan Artist-in-Residence Studio—he uses fluorescent light tubes alone as the main triggers of a mass-less, enveloping perceptual setting. The specific objects utilized in the installation serve as a passive platform that facilitates the transformation of energy and triggers a phenomenal, visual experience. Resisting the need to jump to quick conclusions, Light and Space creates a response of pure attention and engagement.

Robert Irwin: Light and Space is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.

Judith Barry: Voice Off
An artist and writer who trained in architecture, Judith Barry creates experiential video works in which the viewer plays an integral role. These innovative installations often explore the relationship between physical space and psychological space—and how these spaces shape us as subjects. Presented at MCASD for the first time, Voice Off (1998-99) is a two-channel video and sound installation in which videos are projected onto each side of a wall dividing the gallery. As viewers and participants, we must navigate the two spaces through a passageway in the projection. On one side, a frustrated writer grows distracted by noises and voices that he hears—figments of his imagination, perhaps. Increasingly distraught, he obsessively tries to locate the source of these sounds. On the other side, figures appear in an ambiguous, dream-like realm inhabited by a succession of characters who sing, tell stories, and enact various social scenarios. Each video suggests various manifestations of the voice—interior or exterior, sung or spoken, expressive or silenced. Taken as a whole, this multi-layered installation dramatizes complex aural and vocal cues, exploring how sound might be visualized, and how it, in turn, shapes our experience of physical space.

Judith Barry: Voice Off is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.

Ernesto Neto: Mother body emotional densities, for alive temple time baby son
Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s monumental site-specific commission for MCASD, first presented in 2007, features immense organic forms, fashioned from suspended, translucent Lycra fabric filled with spices such as annetto, cloves, and turmeric. The installation suggests the microscopic landscape of the body at a macroscopic scale. Neto's installations contain a strong social component and an aspect of whimsy that purposefully combine architectural, sculptural, and atmospheric effects to create a specific visual and physical experience. As the viewer moves through both the gallery and the piece, they are surrounded by soft membranes and bathed in diffused light streaming down from the clearstory windows of the gallery through the translucent material. Developed in response to the light-filled, open-trellised architecture of the exhibition space, the work stands suspended between architectural and bodily space, creating a strong physical relationship with the viewer that must be experienced rather than merely seen.

Ernesto Neto is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)
www.mcasd.org

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