Indepth Arts News: |
"focus: Inigo Manglano-Ovalle"
2005-02-17 until 2005-05-14
Art Institute of Chicago
Contemporary artist Iņigo Manglano-Ovalle's new sculpture presented at Art Institute of Chicago is based on actual scientific data of an existing iceberg drifting in the Labrador Sea. The 460-foot iceberg, # r11i01, was scanned by the Canadian Hydraulic Center using radar and sonar. Using data provided by the scientist, the artist has spent more than a year-working with Chicago architect Colin Franzen-to create a 25-foot sculpture that will "float" inside The Art Institute of Chicago. Along with the sculpture, Vanishing Sky is a computer-generated projection that depicts the lifecycles of universes. Sound artists Richard Gribenas and Jeremy Boyle performed at the opening an orchestration of laptop-driven sounds that will incorporate data obtained from iceberg #r11io1; mapping points obtained by radar and sonar.
Contemporary artist Iņigo Manglano-Ovalle will debut a spectacular, two-part installation created specifically for The Art Institute of Chicago: a monumentally scaled (two-stories high) model of an actual iceberg formation the artist encountered this summer off the coast of Newfoundland, Iceberg (r11io1) (2005), juxtaposed with a new digital work, Vanishing Sky (2005). The exhibition, on view February 17-May 14, 2005, will be presented in the Morton Wing spiral staircase area (G. 135) and in Gallery 139. It is part of a project series called focus-single-artist presentations of contemporary art at the Art Institute.
Born in Madrid, Spain, in 1961, Iņigo Manglano-Ovalle was raised in Bogotá, Colombia, and Chicago, where he currently lives, teaches, and maintains a studio. Much of his early work was centered on community, concerned largely with issues of migration and immigration, ethnicity and place. Manglano-Ovalle is engaged in a process of understanding how certain extraordinary forces and systems-man-made and natural-are always and already in the process of remaking the world. Over the course of the last decade, he has worked in a wide range of media-activist-inspired public art, sculpture, film, sound, and photography-all of which fuse the politics of contemporary urban culture with poetic meditations on aesthetics, history, and identity.
Today, the artist continues to embrace the interdisciplinary. Working in collaboration with geneticists, biotech researchers, legal consultants, medical ethicists, architects, composers, writers, historians, and others, Manglano-Ovalle forges a creative enterprise unrivaled among his peers in its scope and complexity. Issues pertaining to personal and collective spaces, the negotiation of borders, and social injustice-which always have been central to his project-are still present. Now, however, the artist treats these concerns in a more abstract fashion, against a larger, metaphorical landscape of passages- through time, space, atmosphere, and geography, with their attendant cultures of observation and documentation. Most pointedly, weather and climate-super cell storm clouds, for example-have become, for the artist, new vehicles for examining patterns of mighty migrations that move where they will without respect for borders or boundaries. "What I want to represent," the artist declares, "is how the world represents itself to us."
Manglano-Ovalle's new sculpture is based on actual scientific data of an existing iceberg drifting in the Labrador Sea. The 460-foot iceberg, # r11i01, was scanned by the Canadian Hydraulic Center using radar and sonar. Using data provided by the scientist, the artist has spent more than a year-working with Chicago architect Colin Franzen-to create a 25-foot sculpture that will "float" inside the Art Institute. The digital information of the actual iceberg has been transformed into three-dimensional structure composed of the more than 2000 parts of aluminum and computer controlled fabrication of nylon joints. Manglano-Ovalle has collaborated with the Chicago-based rapid prototyping company, C.ideas, and engineers from Seattle-based software company, Robert McNeel & Associates, to capture the ephemeral essence of the iceberg and freeze it again in a state of suspended animation.
Vanishing Sky is a computer-generated projection that depicts the lifecycles of universes. As the artist states, "Every 15 minutes a universe is created and simultaneously extinguished, star by star." This digital realization is generated in real-time; a computer-processing unit transforms mathematical data into imagery that is projected onto three, adjoining screens. The artist collaborated with local artist, Siebren Versteeg, on the digital rendering, and worked with local composer, Richard Gribenas, to create an original surround audio score for this piece.
This focus exhibition marks the premier of two, major new works: one emphatically terrestrial, the other strictly extraterrestrial. Both are visualizations of fields of pure data derived from digital models of transient, nonhierarchical forms; one is a sculptural rendering of an irregular, frozen mass of ocean water, the other, a computer-generated, purely fictional, three-screen projection of a starry expanse of the heavens. As in much of the artist's recent work, this exhibition maps new zones of a technologically mediated interface between earth and sky.
Focus: Iņigo Manglano-Ovalle is organized by The Art Institute of Chicago and is funded by Lannan Foundation, with additional support from Robert McNeel & Associates, C.ideas Rapid Prototyping Solutions, and Helyn Goldenberg. Ongoing support for focus exhibitions is provided by The Alfred L. McDougal and Nancy Lauter McDougal Fund for Contemporary Art. The exhibition is curated by James Rondeau, Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago.