Indepth Arts News: |
"Juan Munoz: new sculpture unveiled"
2001-06-11 until 2001-12-01
The Spanish artist Juan Muņoz is to undertake the second in The Unilever Series of
comissions for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. The first commission was fulfilled by
Louise Bourgeois and was unveiled when Tate Modern opened on 12 May 2000. It is
estimated that over 150,000 people have climbed her three towers, I do, I undo and I
redo, situated in the east end of the Turbine Hall. Muņoz will create a new installation, for
the 155 metres long x 35 metres high (500 x 115 feet) space, which will open in June
Juan Muņoz is renowned for sculptural works in which he situates the human figure within
elaborate or complex architectural settings. These are created using elements such as
patterned floors, staircases and balconies. Then, by a highly considered placement of the
figures, Muņoz entices the viewer into an engagement with the implied dramas
unravelling within. The architectural features also serve as metaphors, particularly the
balcony which, in Muņoz's art, operates as a form of threshold, between performer and
spectator, past and future, and subject and object.
Muņoz's cast of characters includes dwarfs, ventriloquist's dummies, ballerinas and
circus performers, and makes reference to earlier art, such as the paintings of Velasquez
and classical sculpture, as well as to the films of Luis Buņuel. Muņoz regards himself as
a storyteller, and indeed the uncanny quality of the figures, their enigmatic muteness,
invites the viewer to construct their own narrative or reading of the work. Muņoz's
sculptures are made with virtuoso craftsmanship, often in traditional materials, such as
bronze, yet they undeniably belong to the contemporary moment.