PARIS.- Artist Daniel Arsham is taking Paris by storm in March 2010. Animal Architecture, a solo exhibition of new work at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris that will include three bodies of work gouache animal drawings, Push Puppets and Pixel Cloudswill open on March 20. In addition, the Paris premiere of Arshams performance collaboration, REPLICA, with choreographers Jonah Bokaer and Judith Sánchez Ruíz will open at the festival Avalanche at Theatre de Vanves on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010. Arsham will also design the scenography for this entire festival (March 23- 27.)
Arsham, known for his architectural interventions and expansive collaborative practice, has worked with such luminaries as Merce Cunningham, Robert Wilson, Hedi Slimane, Friends With You and Snarkitecture, among others.
Architecture is prevalent throughout Daniel Arshams work: environments with eroded walls and stairs going nowhere, landscapes where nature overrides structures, and a general sense of playfulness within existing architecture. Arshams new series of gouache on mylar drawings are inspired by etchings of Gustave Doré and Albrecht Dürer. Rehashing old images into new stories, his drawings of modernist architectural ruins in the middle of a luxurious and dominant nature reveal a compression of time. Arsham explains, Through the use of imagery foreign to the period and to the place, the imagery becomes timeless. There is a post-human quality to this series.
These new drawings feature various animals: kangaroos, owls and ostriches, both perplexed and intrigued by these architectural elements. Arsham states, Animals have a unique relationship with architecture because it is not built for them. When we are confronted with the animals ambiguous connection to a world designed for humans, we are better equipped to ask questions about our own relationships to architecture.
Complimenting his two-dimensional investigation, Arsham presents a new series of sculptures replicating push puppet figurines from his childhood. These life-sized animal recreations slowly collapse and reform again, eliciting an enduring, sad and subtly frightening response. Arsham has effectively recreated the animals architecturally, using their toy form, which unites these intriguing and uncanny pieces to the other works on display.
Continuing his investigation into the relationship between architecture and nature, Arshams Pixel Clouds cross into new territory. Transferring the pixilated color map of cloud photographs to hand-painted balls assembled into cloud forms, Arsham examines how concepts like time, nature and color are built.
Imagined with and featuring choreographers/dance performers Jonah Bokaer and Judith Sánchez Ruíz, REPLICA explores movement, memory and amnesia through the use of E.M.D.R. (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) testing technologies. Arshams scenographic work revolves around the rethinking of our relationship to architecture. His interest in a fluid, impermanent architecture evolved into a multifaceted practice heavily influenced by his work with Merce Cunningham. Continuing in this tradition, Arshams relationship with choreographer Jonah Bokaer is dawning a prolific collaborative career with their acclaimed performance REPLICA. Commissioned by the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS), Washington, D.C. with support from the Harman Center, REPLICA is the Academys first choreographic commission. This work is currently on tour with stops in Moscow, Athens, Marseilles, Antwerp, and Aix en Provence.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Miami, Florida, Arsham graduated from Cooper Union and received the Gelman Trust Fellowship Award in 2003. In 2004 he participated in the group show Miami Nice at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin (Paris), which began to represent Arsham 2005. As one of the founders of the seminal Miami artist-run spaces The House and Placemaker, his interest in collaboration began early. To further expand the possibilities of spatial manipulation and collaborations, Arsham founded Snarkitecture in 2007 with partner Alex Mustonen to serve new and imaginative purposes. Their practice has recently won the commission to create two large signature features for Miamis new Florida Marlins ballpark, set to open in 2012.
Arshams work has been shown at PS1 in New York (Greater New York 2005), The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Biennial, The New Museum, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California and Carré dArt de Nîmes, France. A monograph of Arshams work was published in 2008 by the French Centre National des arts plastiques. For more information, visit www.danielarsham.com.