Katrín Sigurðardóttir at MIT List Visual Arts Center
Katrín Sigurðardóttir’s sculptural practice examines the way physical structures and boundaries affect perception. Her works gesture towards real locations, employing shifts in scale and fragmentation to systematically question the veracity of memory and history. Sigurðardóttir’s exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center will consist of two bodies of work—Ellefu and Unbuilt Residences in Reykjavík, 1925-1930—both recently completed as part of the commission for this project. The works are executed according to an intensive set of processes that hinge on draftsmanship, each with a level of detail that is carefully removed, destroyed, or otherwise obscured.
The series Ellefu–Eleven in Icelandic–are abstracted, miniaturized constructions of interior segments of the artist’s childhood home in Reykjavík. Sigurðardóttir methodically regenerates cross-sections of rooms and passageways based on her on-site surveys of the built structure, which she develops into highly refined technical drawings. These drawings form the basis for constructing the individual works, from prototyping and mold making to casting, joining, and surface polishing. The finished objects are seemingly austere floor- bound sculptures that partially conceal signs of their making, their surfaces rendered without evidence of personal history.
For the series Unbuilt Residences in Reykjavík, 1925-1930, Sigurðardóttir selected a group of unrealized architectural plans of houses from the city’s archives that demonstrate changes in building methods and materials in Iceland during that period. Sigurðardóttir uses these basic architectural plans in a calculated procedure of redrafting to create models that are then destroyed by various means only to be reconstructed from the remains. The eroded structures evince a history imagined through a process as rehearsed and anticipated as it is left to chance.
Over the years the MIT List Visual Arts Center has become highly respected as one of the most significant university art galleries in the country for its innovative, provocative, and scholarly exhibitions and publications. Just as MIT pushes at the frontiers of scientific inquiry, it is the mission of the List Visual Arts Center to explore challenging, intellectually inquisitive, contemporary art making in all media. In addition to presenting 6-9 exhibitions annually, the List Center presents a broad range of education programs in conjunction with its exhibition programming.
This year the The MIT List Visual Arts Center will present Joan Jonas as the representative for the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition, on view May 9-Novemer 22, 2015. Jonas, a pioneering figure in performance art and video, will create a new multimedia installation that will transform the entirety of the pavilion’s five galleries into a dynamically immersive environment. Joan Jonas’ exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion in 2015 will be the third Venice Biennale project the MIT List Visual Arts Center has presented, preceded by Fred Wilson: Speak of Me as I Am (2003) (commissioner Kathleen Goncharov) andAnn Hamilton: Myein (1999) (commissioners Katy Kline and Helaine Posner).
Katrín Sigurðardóttir (born 1967, Reykjavík, Iceland) lives and works in New York City. She represented Iceland in the 55th Venice Biennial in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include Sculpture Center, New York; Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City; and FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
Katrín Sigurðardóttir: Drawing Apart
February 13-April 12, 2015
Opening Reception: February 12, 5:30-8pm
Reception Events: Conversation between Katrín Sigurðardóttir and Mark Jarzombek, Interim Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture
5:30 pm, Bartos Theater Reception and Open Galleries
6 to 8 pm, Upper Atrium and List Galleries
Directions: The MIT List Visual Arts Center is located in the Wiesner Building, 20 Ames Street, at the eastern edge of the MIT campus. It is in close proximity to Kendall Square, Memorial Drive, and the Longfellow Bridge.