David Maljković and Lucy Skaer: Scene, Hold, Ballast, Sculpture Center, New York 2012

David Maljković and Lucy Skaer: Scene, Hold, Ballast, Sculpture Center, New York 2012

David Maljkovic and Lucy Skaer
January 15 - March 19, 2012

Scene, Hold, Ballast

SculptureCenter is pleased to present Scene, Hold, Ballast a two person exhibition with David Maljkovic and Lucy Skaer, artists whose work shares an engagement with sculpture, film, and distinct approaches to exhibition design. Scene, Hold, Ballast conceived as a dialog, will feature new works by Maljkovic and Skaer commissioned through SculptureCenter's Artist in Residence program. An opening reception will take place Sunday, January 15, 2012, 5 to 7pm, both artists will be present. This exhibition is guest curated by Fionn Meade.

Scene, Hold, Ballast will feature new works by Maljkovic and Skaer that further explore affinities and correspondences in their respective practices. In an ongoing series Temporary Projections Cycle, David Maljkovic's retrospective mode of tracing and negotiation is turned toward his own studio practice, its history, and imagined futures, including new works in film, painting, and sculpture. And Lucy Skaer continues her transformation of existing artifacts and architecture with a new 35mm film, a photographic series and related sculptures. Both artists have repeatedly explored what it means to inhabit and give spatial contour to their references. For example, Maljkovic gained access to the guarded test track of Peugeot headquarters in order to cast retired company workers in out-of-time embraces alongside futuristic automobile prototypes (Out of Projections, 2009), and Skaer's placed the heft of a sperm whale skeleton behind partitioned walls to enact the interval nature of the moving image (Leviathan Edge, 2009).

Lucy Skaer's installations subject the conventional classification of objects and historical references to scrutiny, shifting meaning toward the symbolic and absurd. Often working with pre-existing imagery and found forms, Skaer's sculptures, films, and works on paper emphasize repetition and variation even as they retain a gestural immediacy. Her surrogate adaptations of Constantin Brancusi'sýsculptures, for example, use familiar forms as a decoy for exploring faltering modes of industrial production and distribution, resulting in the collapse of image and object into a shared psychological space a characteristic of much of her work. Skaer's work re-animates the power of the symbolic that lies beyond obsolescence, as in a recent 35mm film that imagines the memory of a film projector from an abandoned cinema in Leeds, England.

Film, video, and stage scenography likewise play a central role in David Maljkovic's work and his ongoing critical engagement with the legacy of modernism. Constructing future histories via diverted glimpses onto overlooked moments of past innovation, Maljkovic's sculpture, collage, painting, drawing, and architectural mis-en-scene often refer to Yugoslav socialism and the aesthetics of international modernism. Maljkovic mines a rift between the utopian aspirations of former avant-garde strategies, their frequently cataclysmic results, and the present moment. The film Images With Their Own Shadows (2008), for example, is set in the villa and former studio of the influential Croatian artist and architect Vjenceslav Richter (1917-2002), and combines sound clips from Richter's last interview with highly suggestive tableaux vivant of young people, open mouthed in their attempt to speak. Here, the sounds and imagery of the past irrevocably darken the present but the future is made equally contingent through embodied, participatory rehearsal.