The Armory Show announces 2022 Platform projects
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The Armory Show announces 2022 Platform projects
Sonia Gomes, Um lugar, um corpo. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Armory Show presents the projects for the 2022 edition of Platform, curated by Tobias Ostrander, Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator, Latin American Art at Tate, London. Featuring twelve artists, the title for the 2022 edition is Monumental Change. The section is dedicated to large-scale and site-specific installations that examine how recent revisionist practices, which are part of dramatic cultural shifts occurring throughout the world, are influencing artists’ engagement with sculptural form.

Artists and galleries featured in the section are Iván Argote (Perrotin), Carolina Caycedo (Instituto de Visión), Sonia Gomes (Mendes Wood DM), Trenton Doyle Hancock (Hales and James Cohan), Juan Fernando Herrán (PROXYCO Gallery), Roberto Huarcaya (Rolf Art), Julio César Morales (Gallery Wendi Norris), Reynier Leyva Novo (El Apartamento), Ebony G. Patterson (Monique Meloche Gallery and Hales), Nyugen E. Smith (Sean Horton (Presents)), Mary Sibande (Kavi Gupta), and Sean Townley (Night Gallery).

These large-scale installations will be placed throughout the fair’s Agora, running diagonally through the center of the fair. Many of the works presented engage aesthetics historically associated with monuments in critical ways, others celebrate personal subjectivities as counterpoints to grand political narratives. Additional projects use soft or ephemeral materials as anti-monumental gestures, while still others look to specifically present women and nature as subjects deserving honor and commemoration.

"Landscapes as monuments, women as heroes and the problematic histories of traditional commemorative sculpture are some of the themes examined by the works included in this year's Platform section titled Monumental Change,” said Tobias Ostrander. “With several large scale works having been specifically produced for Platform, while others made for recent biennials and museum exhibitions, this group of exceptional works represent dynamic conversations currently taking place regarding the viability of public monuments and how and what we might choose to honor collectively."

Presentation Details:

Iván Argote (Perrotin)
Wild Flowers, 2020

In theorizing a new future for historical monuments, Iván Argote deploys multiple tactics that include disappearance, eroticization, natural decay, and fiction. With his installation Wild Flowers, the Paris-based Colombian artist presents planters made from disembodied fragments of Wall Street’s iconic George Washington monument. Scattered across a base of concrete blocks, Washington’s torso, hands, and feet are hollowed out and reimagined as containers for regional plants and flowers as a mode of fostering replenishment and regeneration.

Carolina Caycedo (Instituto de Visión)
Muyeres en mi, 2019

Honoring previous generations of Latin American and Latinx women artists, Muyeres en mi is made using clothes sourced from Caycedo’s immediate family and female colleagues. Across these textiles, the artist has embroidered, in a graffiti and activist-inspired typographic style, the names of artists who continue to inspire her, creating a personal historiography of women and art of the Americas. Monumental in scale, while structurally pliable and fluid, the piece allows each of the garments from which it is made to continue to be worn or interacted with in playful ways, such as a cape or “parangole.”

Sonia Gomes (Mendes Wood DM)
3 acordes (Série Sinfonia das cores), 2022

Material choreographies in space, Sao Paulo–based artist Sonia Gomes’ work symbolically binds together diverse cultural movements and traditions that are intrinsically linked to the affirmation of memory, identity, and the transformative power of creation in situations of vulnerability and invisibility. Through the use of colored fabric, thread, and found and gifted objects, her multi-dimensional structures stand as insistent placeholders for the absent or unseen body.

Trenton Doyle Hancock (Hales and James Cohan)
Mound #1, The Color Crop Experience, 2018

As the centerpiece of the Houston-based artist’s expansive solo exhibition Mind of the Mound, Critical Mass, presented at MASS MoCA in 2018, this gigantic, interactive work served as both a promotional icon for the project and as a monument to the artist’s subjective, self-referential mythology involving his characters the “Mounds.” This particular Mound is represented as a tent made from black and white striped faux-fur, and covered with pink “sores” that possibly reference traumas that have been tamed through being aestheticized. The fiberglass head that adorns the structure speaks to figurative icons used within fast-food chains or entertainment centers to announce entrances into fantastical worlds. One is encouraged to visually enter this enclosure, experience the animated video presented inside, and examine the root armatures from which Mounds are made.

Juan Fernando Herrán (PROXYCO Gallery)
Héroes Mil (Thousand Heroes), 2015

Presenting empty large-scale sculptural bases that reference historical designs, Héroes Mil reconsiders the traditional logics of monuments as they relate to the desire for national heroes within the history of Colombia. The piece addresses historical memory and how the country sought to cement its Republic in symbolic terms during the celebration of the First Centennial of Independence in 1910. Produced in 2015 during another historical period—in which Colombia was questioning how to publicly heal after recent decades of violence—Herrán’s installation emphasizes the significant absence of deserving contemporary heroes to commemorate, while concurrently—through presenting each base as the wooden scaffolding used to pour concrete in the construction of new monuments—keeping the future potential for such possibilities open.

Roberto Huarcaya (Rolf Art)
Amazogramas, 2014

Presenting the vulnerable format of a photogram at a monumental scale, Peruvian artist Robert Huarcaya pays homage to the Amazon Rainforest through a process whereby this natural environment produces a photographic representation of itself.

Shot at night in Bahuaja Sonene, a Natural Reserve in the Amazon jungle of Peru, this piece involved positioning a 90m long photosensitive paper in a snake-like manner through the jungle’s dense foliage. Its forms were then projected onto the paper through the aid of a small flash and the light of a full moon. The photographic images were developed using the water of a nearby river, which added mineral sediments and pigments to the surface of the work.

Julio César Morales (Gallery Wendi Norris)
La línea, 2022

The stability of the US/Mexican border as a monument to the United States’ autonomy and control within the North American continent is challenged in the light installation titled La Línea by Phoenix-based Mexican artist Julio César Morales. It addresses the selective omission of histories in the southwest region of the United States, depicting how boundaries and land ownership have changed dramatically over hundreds of years. The installation consists of four simplified line drawings rendered as red neon sculptures that represent the 1,954-mile border between the US and Mexico. La línea collapses time and space, positioning the border as a main character within histories of power, land, and colonial narratives.

Reynier Leyva Novo (El Apartamento)
What it is, what it has been, 2020–2022

This large-scale figurative sculpture is based on the statue of Cuban independence hero José Martí, created by sculptor Juan José Sicre in 1936 for Havana's Plaza Cívica, which was renamed Plaza de la Revolución in 1961. The piece reproduces at original scale the sculpture’s head, which the artist has then covered with 365 layers of paint. In Cuba, public monuments are periodically repainted as a gesture intended to refresh, update, and honor the subjects depicted. With his exaggeration of this act, the artist blurs the features of this figure’s face to the point of unrecognizability, resulting in an uncanny and alien-like representation.

Ebony G. Patterson (Monique Meloche Gallery and Hales)
…when the cry takes root…, 2020

Commissioned for the 2021 Liverpool Biennial, this sculptural tapestry resembles a peacock, whose expansive tail transforms into a garden landscape. This complex piece is inspired by poet Édouard Glissant’s notion that “landscape is our monument,” referencing the need to recognize and honor how the physical landscapes of the Caribbean and other colonial territories are the result of the traumatic labor of enslaved peoples. Patterson’s research centered around Hope Botanical Gardens in her native Kingston, Jamaica. The installation’s grandiose scale and rich symbolism reference the colonial past of this site as a former British Plantation and highlights its historical relationship to contemporary disenfranchised, working-class communities.

Nyugen E. Smith (Sean Horton (Presents))
Bundlehouses, 2021-2022

Monuments to human ingenuity in the face of political and environmental catastrophes, Nyugen E. Smith’s totem-like sculptures reference shelters built by displaced migrants, refugees, and hurricane survivors. They are models of bricolage houses constructed using whatever resources can be found at hand—what families manage to bring with them, scavenge for near camps, or find left after a natural disaster. These Bundlehouses speak to the capricious circumstances, tenuousness, and overall fragility of both life and home within the contemporary world.

Mary Sibande (Kavi Gupta)
Ascension of the Purple Figure, 2013

As a gesture toward monumentalizing herself, with this sculpture we see Sophie, artist Mary Sibande's avatar, stepping up onto a pedestal. She wears a purple Victorian-style dress that recalls the aesthetics of the British Colonial Empire. Representing this persona’s purple phase, the color addresses the spirit of constructive resistance encapsulated by the Purple Rain protests in South Africa during apartheid, during which authorities sprayed protestors with purple ink from water cannons, intent on marking them and making them easier to arrest.

Sean Townley (Night Gallery)
Gassing the Imperial Throne, 2020

Across his practice, Los Angeles–based artist Sean Townley subverts the rhetoric of progressive democracy in order to gesture toward the imperialist authoritarianism and ritualism that pervades contemporary political life in the United States. His large-scale Gassing the Imperial Throne is centered around a wooden throne that has been sealed within a clear, custom-fabricated plastic bag. The throne, likely a replica of a bishop’s seat built for an ecclesiastical setting, is flanked on either side by tanks of argon gas, a conservation material used to remove insects and microscopic life from aging wooden artifacts. The throne itself is adorned with a double-headed eagle, a historical symbol of empire and nationalistic unity. The heads of the two eagles have been removed by the artist, an intervention that problematizes the notion of patriotic allegiance.

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