In this exhibition, his most ambitious works can only be sampled with a single deletion. From station to station (2013) was a 4,000-mile train journey across the United States. There, the changing cast of artists, musicians and other performers traveled in 12 carriages, which are also creative studios. When the train stops, the multimedia “happening” will take place at the selected station. MCA samples this special project in the form of a documentary.
There is also a film version of New horizon (2019), it featured an illuminated hot-air balloon, and Underwater pavilion (2016), a sculpture of a geometric metal frame installed off the coast of Catalina Island, California. Only accessible to scuba divers.
It is the scale and ambition of Aitken’s work that guarantees that it will only display the document, not the real thing.his Sonic Pavilion (2009) is an elegant and modern building built on a tropical rainforest settlement in Brazil. In an elaborate house in a tunnel 700 meters from the Earth, Mike picks up the sound of movement inside the Earth. (2017) was a house with mirrored walls built in the desert near Palm Springs, but was replayed in the snowfields of Gustard, Switzerland.
Works such as Sea of diamonds (1997) is a self-contained video work intended to have the same atmosphere as a site-specific installation, set in the Namib Desert, one of the most desolate places on the planet. We are invited to travel in our hearts to this remote landscape. Somewhere in the sandy waste is a nearly fully automated diamond mine. This is a clear testament to the worldwide popularity of technology.
The works we can experience are, so to speak, not abstract and free. Sonic Fountain II (2013/15) is a dazzling white puddle that occupies the central part of the display, with irregular drops of water falling from the top of the pipe, like makeshift music. new era (2018) introduces Martin Cooper, who made his first mobile phone call in 1973, with an installation that combines mirrors and projections. This was one of the historic events that no one knew had revolutionized our lives. Cooper has grown old, but the technology he has unleashed is still growing, traversing the globe at unprecedented speeds and with ever-increasing amounts of data.
The most attractive work for the viewer is Transition (Empire) (2008), a 3-channel video installation that takes us into a series of cheap and shabby US hotel rooms. Each is occupied by wildlife – a group of mountain lions, buffalos, horses, foxes, deer, peacocks, owls, rabbits … perhaps the most fascinating is the beaver climbing in the tub.
Animals behave in different ways, but with the exception of passive rabbits, they seem to be completely confused in the hotel room. It’s an absurd scenario that reminds us of the unnatural character of these repetitive official bedrooms scattered throughout the landscape everywhere humans settle. Why do you start to equate with animals when you watch a movie? Everyone Don’t get hooked in these boring enclosures. Perhaps they do. Most Americans today seem to have discovered madness as a way of life.
Aitken outperforms this stupid epidemic. A cool, philosophical, factory of ideas, he creates art for those who let go of the safety rails and step into the zone of uncertainty between real and virtual. “Every work I make is an experiment,” he once said, but the art gallery is not a laboratory. At Aitken’s work, there is no objective measure of success or failure. It’s up to you, the viewer, as the author to make the call.
Doug Aitken: A new era, Museum of Contemporary Art, until February 6, 2022.
Where the natural and digital worlds collide
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