Nobody’s Property: Art, Land, Space, 2000-2010
October 23, 2010-February 20, 2011
Over the last ten years, “land” and “space” have become pressing subjects for artistic investigation, so much so that we can now speak of a new generation of environmental artists. Nobody’s Property will explore this development and probe the reasons for its appearance at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The exhibition features the work of seven artists and two artist-teams: Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Yael Bartana, Andrea Geyer, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Emre Hüner, Matthew Day Jackson, Lucy Raven, and Santiago Sierra. Using media that range from video and photography to digital animation, performance, and assemblage, these artists parse the economic, geopolitical, and phantasmatic conditions of land and space. Their methods are as varied as their media, but they tend to coalesce around one of four approaches: the investigatory, the parafictional, the interrogative, and the interruptive. While some of the artists in the exhibition explore historical configurations of space, gauging its symbolic import for specific actors at specific moments in time, others consider concrete land-sites—sites, that is, with a particular geographical correlate. Among these land-sites are the cities of Jerusalem and Beirut, the island of Vieques, the border town of Juarez, the Navajo Nation, and the industrial center of Tongling. Each one crystallizes a larger debate around issues such as war, globalization, cultural patrimony, civil rights, and national sovereignty.