Jan 21–Apr 22, 2006
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25 March 2017
Jan 21–Apr 22, 2006
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Bergamot Station G1
2525 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Dark Places explored the subtle interconnections between memory and social space–and the possibility that traces of events are scripted into the fabric of our physical and psychological environment. Conceived and organized by guest curator Joshua Decter, and designed by the architectural collective servo, the exhibition featured the work of 75 distinguished artists and architects from around the world.
Dark Places brought an alternative, experimental approach to the organization and installation of a group exhibition. It was conceived to reanimate relationships among art, architecture, media, and technological design, and to generate a new kind of immersive environment–the hallucination of a futuristic noir scenario inside the frame of the museum.
The exhibition asked: What, and where, are the enigmatic places in our urban and suburban worlds? How do we navigate through ambiguous social spaces? How do we experience the historical traces of complex and disturbing events within our homes, neighborhoods, and cities? What are the atmospheric, psychological, and political conditions that define our constructed environments? How are we affected by fear, violence, and paranoia, expressed through such technologies as surveillance and the Internet, as well as by the popular media? And, how might we reappropriate these actual and fictional narratives to achieve social, political, and spiritual transformation–to illuminate the dark places?
Participants who responded to these questions by making new work, or selecting or modifying existing work to be recontextualized within the exhibition in digital form included: Acconci Studio, Franz Ackermann, Francis Alÿs, Michael Ashkin, Jaime Ávila Ferrer, Dennis Balk, Matthew Barney, Judith Barry, Thomas Bayrle, Julie Becker, Douglas Blau, Monica Bonvicini, Daniel Bozhkov, Mark Bradford, Troy Brauntuch, François Bucher, Sophie Calle, Eduardo Consuegra, Jordan Crandall, Teddy Cruz, Jonas Dahlberg, Stephen Dean, Anne Deleporte, Diller + Scofidio, Sam Durant, Anna Gaskell, Douglas Gordon, gruppo A12, Fariba Hajamadi, Pablo Helguera, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Julian Hoeber, Emily Jacir, Christian Jankowski, Vincent Johnson, Mitchell Kane, Joachim Koester, Glenn Ligon, Dorit Margreiter, Fiorenza Menini, John Miller, Muntadas, Paul Myoda, Yoshua Okon, Catherine Opie, Lucy Orta, Hirsch Perlman, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Phillips, Richard Prince, Raqs Media Collective, Miguel Rio Branco, Alexis Rockman, Julian Rosefeldt, Aura Rosenberg, Peter Rostovsky, Sam Samore, Paige Sarlin, Julia Scher, Gregor Schneider, Allan Sekula, Andres Serrano, Nedko Solakov, Doron Solomons, Wolfgang Staehle, Javier Tellez, Anton Vidokle, Eyal Weizman/Nadav Harel, James Welling, Wim Wenders, Judi Werthein, Charlie White, Måns Wrange, Jody Zellen, and Heimo Zobernig.
Decter organized the varied submissions–painting, photography, drawing, video, film, animation, architecture, and film clips–into eight curatorial sequences that generated unique, visual correspondences and thematic linkages. Upon entering the museum space, the viewer encountered a hovering, translucent armature with elongated vacuum-formed plastic strands that delivered the succession of scripted digitized works through four front projectors, four rear projectors, and a network of glowing fiber optics–a delivery mechanism that echoed and embodied the themes of the work presented.