Art & History

Hourglass: Daniel Arsham transforms gallery with bright blue installations

Visitors to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, will be treated to a thought-provoking series of installations by artist Daniel Arsham. Through a combination of audio, architecture, sculpture, installation and performance, Daniel Arsham: Hourglass extends the artist’s investigation into how we interpret history through physical artefacts, whilst immersing the audience in environments that reflect both the past and present. The exhibition features some of the artist’s first works in colour, which offers a break in Arsham’s familiar black and white palette.

“Arsham’s installations challenge our perception of history as static and removed from individual experience,” said Jonathan Odden, the High’s curatorial assistant of modern and contemporary art. “History is profoundly human, created from the objects and events each of us encounters, and Arsham’s work reminds us of these important connections. We are eager for our audiences to experience these spaces.”

The exhibition’s first installation features objects in large hourglasses set on stone plinths. Finely crushed crystals fill each hourglass, obscuring the objects within. A child’s voice projected continuously throughout the installation describes the objects, evoking a science fiction narrative or records from an anthropological journal.

On the second floor, visitors are transported into a monochromatic blue Zen garden, complete with a Japanese tea house, tatami mats, a petrified tree and ornately raked sand. The cast figure of a woman in the sand is reminiscent of Pompeii, while a Japanese lantern and scattered objects give the environment a palpable sense of dwelling — as if occupied by a caretaker-hermit.

The exhibition takes place at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, until 21 May 2017. For more information, visit high.org.

All images courtesy of the artist and Galerie Perrotin. Credit: Guillaume Ziccarelli

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