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'Cities and Things That Matter' at Lombard Freid Projects
Haig Aivazian, Post-Scriptum: On the Other Side of the Sky (An Epilogue in Three Parts), 2011. Single channel video, 15 min., from 'The Unimaginable Things We Build' (2011-Ongoing). Photo: Courtesy Lombard Freid Projects.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Lombard Freid Projects presents Cities and Things That Matter, featuring sculpture, installation, video, photography and drawing by Haig Aivazian, Emre Huner, Wilfredo Prieto, Michael Rakowitz, Raqs Media Collective, Nasan Tur and Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi.

The artists explore the numerous rhythms, structures, stories and transactions of urban life that construct cultural ideologies and shape mankind. Cities, epicenters of social and public space, become the backdrop for the collective concerns of society. Economic trade, public knowledge, free speech, political and personal diplomacy along with structural development and decay are all elements of a contemporary metropolis. The seven-featured artists each use these fundamental cultural components to communicate the state of the present though their particular lenses. The resulting exhibition evaluates the structure of culture today, producing an exhibition that doubles as an anthropological barometer.

Haig Aivazian is an artist, curator and writer born in Lebanon and currently based in New York City. He uses performance, video, installation and sculpture to weave though personal and geo-political narratives in the search for ideological loopholes and short circuits. In his most recent works Aivazian continues to build his series The Unimaginable Things We Build, where he focuses on the world’s tallest man-made structure in an attempt to reconcile the idea of monumental architectural landmarks as nodes in an unrepresentable global network of immaterial capital. Other parts of the project have been shown in Mercer Union in Toronto, Canada, and include a commissioned public billboard at The Pavilion, Dubai United Arab Emirates.

Emre Huner, born in Istanbul and based in The Netherlands, works in various media from video, drawing and spatial works. Huner continuously contemplates man’s place within architecture and nature as well as the dangers of industrial progression. His work questions the world humans have created with numerous machines, abandoned buildings and the seemingly endless quest for convenience. In the video Juggernaut, Huner combines found footage from General Motors, NASA and Walt Disney propaganda with his own material. An intimate set of drawings accompany Juggernaut, giving the viewer a glance at the 1960s promise for a utopian future that never came. Recent exhibition include; Adverse Stability, 
Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, Belgium; The New Horizon, Stroom, Den Haag, The Netherlands; and The future of tradition, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany.

Wilfredo Prieto, originally from Cuba and currently based in New York City, offers a refreshingly optimistic point of view in his minimalist installations. In his large-scale piece Mountain, white plinths of varying heights form arranged into a graph of the OPEC records for the price of oil from 1960-2010. The piece speaks to the presence of high art in contemporary society, while remaining open to interpretation by the viewer. Recent exhibitions include; Spirito Due, Complesso Monumentalle Santo Spirito in Sassia, Roma, Italy; Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), Turkey, Istanbul; Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance, Dublin Contemporary 2011, Dublin, Ireland; and Coup d'éclat, Focus of Résonance-Lyon Biennial, Fort du Bruissin, Centre of Contemporary Art Francheville.

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December 11, 2011

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