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Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center at Laumeier Sculpture Park opens with Raqs Media Collective exhibition
Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. Photo by Sam Fentress.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- Laumeier Sculpture Park announced Raqs Media Collective: Art in the Age of Collective Intelligence as the inaugural exhibition in the Whitaker Foundation Gallery of the new Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. Zlatko Ćosić + Ashley McQueen: Harmony in 3, a short film that is part of the 2015 Kranzberg Exhibition Series, will be presented in the lobby of the building. Both exhibitions, plus an outdoor commission by Raqs entitled If the World is a Fair Place Then…, will run Friday, October 16, 2015, through Sunday, February 14, 2016.

Raqs Media Collective: Art in the Age of Collective Intelligence and If the World is a Fair Place Then…
The Raqs Media Collective (pronounced rux) consists of three media practitioners—Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta—based in New Delhi, India. Art in the Age of Collective Intelligence consists of a large series of photographs and a constructed library of books expanding on the Collective’s ongoing preoccupation with change from the inside. Layered texts within the photographs and books examine the ideas of “fairness” and “unfairness” using cut-out fragments of passages as shadowed insertions, leaving both physical and contextual marks.

If the World is a Fair Place Then… is an outdoor commission inspired by the more than 500 responses to the prompt gathered by Laumeier in 2014. Forty stainless-steel bands etched with various thoughts, feelings and ideas from the responses encircle tree trunks along Laumeier’s Art Hike Trail, exploring Raqs’ interest in the history of World’s Fairs—especially the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis—and the polyphony of the crowd.

“Our collaboration with the Raqs Media Collective is the perfect exhibition with which to open the new Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center to the public,” said Marilu Knode, Laumeier’s Executive Director. “Raqs’ separate yet related indoor exhibition and outdoor commission allow us to physically link our indoor and outdoor activities within the Park—one of our main objectives for the new building.”

Raqs’ exhibition also marks the launch of Laumeier’s new five-year programming theme New Territories, 2015–2019. New Territories takes a broad look the world’s cultural zones as they have directly and indirectly impacted life in St. Louis. Projects and activities will twist the economic acronym BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] beyond the market forces driving the global economy.

Zlatko Ćosić + Ashley McQueen: Harmony in 3
2015 Kranzberg Exhibition Series

Video artist Zlatko Ćosić and choreographer Ashley McQueen honor the labor that goes into the manicured landscape at Laumeier with Harmony in 3 for the 2015 Kranzberg Exhibition Series. Through a series of dance performances held in 2014 that were captured to create a short film, Ćosić and McQueen explore Laumeier’s unique partnership with St. Louis County Parks, highlighting the passion and hard work that goes into the care and maintenance of the Park. The 14-minute film will be shown on a loop in the lobby of the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. The Kranzberg Exhibition Series is supported by Nancy and Ken Kranzberg.

he $4 million Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center is the centerpiece of Laumeier’s $10 million Sculpting the Future Capital Campaign. Named in honor of a co-founder of the Park and designed by Trivers Associates, St. Louis, the building provides a compelling contrast to Laumeier’s historical buildings. The Aronson enables Laumeier to grow its presence as a national and international leader in contemporary arts programming.

The barn-style shape of the building provides maximum flexibility for artist experimentation inside the large gallery. The metal roof stands out in contrast to the cedar wood siding, which was selected to help the building blend into the surrounding landscape. Uniquely shaped “fins” on the exterior block direct morning sunlight from hitting the gallery walls inside, while the glazed windows allow for views into the gallery from the outside. The Aronson will serve as the new public focal point of the Park, featuring a large indoor gallery, reception area, collections storage, conservation space and event facilities. Beginning Friday, October 16, 2015, the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center will be open to the public Wednesday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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October 16, 2015

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