Gwenneth Boelens: At Odds
List Visual Arts Center, February 17, 2017 – April 16, 2017
Trained in photography, Gwenneth Boelens (b. 1980 in Soest, NL) is concerned with processes of perception, memory, and time; throughout her work she aims to fix the traces of physical movement in space. In her earlier work she used the antiquated wet plate collodion process, during which chemicals are distributed onto large glass plates and exposed to light. The resulting glass pieces capture the traces of her handling the plates, and are displayed as sculptural installations. More recently, Boelens has made a series of large-scale photograms, using various objects or textiles that are folded repeatedly over the duration of the exposure to create radiant fields of color. The show at the List, Boelens’s first solo museum exhibition, will present a group of new photographic works and woven, sculptural pieces.
Gwenneth Boelens (b. 1980 in Soest, NL) lives and works in Amsterdam. Boelens’s work has been exhibited at Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; ACCA, Melbourne, and others. She attended the Koninklijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag, The Netherlands, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
Charlotte Moth: Seeing While Moving
List Visual Arts Center, February 17, 2017 – April 16, 2017
In her first US solo exhibition, Paris-based artist Charlotte Moth presents a group of recent works in sculpture, photography and film. Throughout her work, she trains her gaze on the architectural spaces in which we live and the objects that surround us. Since 1999, Moth has taken analogue photographs of buildings and interiors encountered while traveling, a collection of images she calls the Travelogue. These photographs are sources for many of her installations, variously grouped into slide projections, sculptural wall works or table assemblages. Paying close attention to overlooked details like corners and crevices, or the play of shadows, Moth renders mundane objects and spaces as magical and strange.
Charlotte Moth (b.1978, Carshalton, UK) lives and works in Paris. Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vadúz (2016); Tate Britain, London (2016); Esker Foundation, Calgary (2015); De Vleeshal, Middleburg, The Netherlands (2014); Centre d’art contemporain, Geneva (2012); and Musée départemental d’art contemporain, Rochechouart, France (2011), among others. Moth was educated at UCCA, Canterbury and the Slade School of Art in London, before completing her training at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht.
Grazia Toderi and Désiré Despradelle: Spectacular Cities
MIT Museum, Kurtz Gallery, September 28, 2016 – March 19, 2017
Despite careers separated by a century, architect Désiré Despradelle (1862–1912) and artist Grazia Toderi (b. 1963) share a conception of the city and urban architecture as spectacle. Presented together for the first time, Toderi’s video diptych Red Babel (2006) and Despradelle’s drawings for Beacon of Progress (1893–1900) are utopian visions, both in dialogue with the Tower of Babel.
Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson
MIT Museum, Ongoing
Arthur Ganson’s kinetic sculptures are among the most beloved features of the MIT Museum. Press a pedal or turn a crank and you’ll put Ganson’s machines into motion. His sculptures explore the nature of oiled surfaces, object manipulation, and slow explosions, and are created from a range of materials that he fabricates or finds.
Redesigned and reopened in fall 2016, the new gallery allows better access to the sculptures, making them easier to view and to manipulate. Sculptures are accompanied by vignettes in the artist’s own words—read about his process and the inspiration behind each piece. A tactile display gives visitors an opportunity to physically connect with some of the materials and forms Ganson uses. And several videos, including the award-winning short film “Machine with Wishbone” by Randall Okita, illuminate new facets of Ganson’s work.
Book Marks: Photographs by Thomas Gearty
Rotch Gallery, January 16, 2017 – April 4, 2017
In old books, time and pressure cause ink from engraved portraits to seep into the surrounding pages and imprint a copy of the original image. These copies are imperfect likenesses, but they may be more accurate portraits. What we believe we know of Shakespeare is as clear as a cliché; what we actually know of him resembles these faces that stare out at us—secondhand, obscured and blurred by time.
An exhibition of prints from photographer and MIT staff member Thomas Gearty, “Book Marks” brings together a gallery of fading glory—famous writers and now-obscure authors, royalty, generals, religious figures and (fitting for MIT) scientists and engineers—largely drawn from books found in the collections of the MIT Libraries.
With support from the Council for the Arts at MIT
Reinterpreting Gropius: New Architecture for the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin
Wolk Gallery, February 16, 2017 – April 14, 2017
The Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design in Berlin, built in 1976-79, was designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and The Architects Collaborative (TAC), the firm Gropius founded in Cambridge in 1945. The Bauhaus Archive was established in Darmstadt in 1960 to preserve the documentary legacy of the Bauhaus. Gropius designed a museum and research building for a site in Darmstadt but the project was suspended and the Archive relocated to Berlin after Gropius’ death in 1969. TAC adapted many of the design elements proposed for Darmstadt for the Archive’s new site on the Landwehr canal near Berlin’s Tiergarten. The Gropius/TAC building remains in use today but has long become inadequate to house the growing collections and the exhibition, research and education programs of the Archive.
Although the Bauhaus existed for only 14 years—from 1919 to 1933—it was the most influential school of design of the twentieth century and its material legacy today is enormous. The Archive is now the largest collection of artifacts related to the Bauhaus, its teachers and students. In 2015 the Archive and the city of Berlin organized a competition to design a renovation and expansion of the 1970s building. Staab Architects, Berlin, won the competition with a design for a five storey glass tower and underground facilities that meet new program requirements for exhibition and visitor engagement. The updated museum complex generates a new architectural image for the Archive, responds appropriately to its changing urban context, and is respectful of the historic Gropius/TAC building. The Wolk exhibition documents the evolution of Bauhaus Archive architecture from the original Gropius design proposals through the 2015 competition, and examines in detail Staab Architects’ renovation and expansion, currently in design development.
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 16, 5:30 – 7pm, Wolk Gallery (7-338)
Talk by Volker Staab, principal of Staab Architects, Berlin; respondent: Annemarie Jaeggi, Director of Bauhaus Archive, Berlin, 7 – 8:30pm, Long Lounge (7-429), following the reception in Wolk Gallery.
Space of Learning
Dean’s Gallery, May 4, 2016 – April 14, 2017
The School of Architecture + Planning investigates the “Space of Learning” in a new exhibit, featuring research from faculty and students that explores the place-based collaborations of the MIT research community.
Curated by Nomeda Urbonas with design assistance from Lucy Siyao Liu, “Space of Learning” includes contributions from Anmahian Winton Architects, Lara Baladi, Timothy Carey, Neil Gershenfeld, Huma Gupta, Caleb Harper, Caroline Jones & Stefan Helmreich, Sheila Kennedy, Alan Kwan, Collective LOK, Takehiko Nagakura, Tobias Putrih, Carlo Ratti, Michel Resnick, Rafi Segal & David Salazar, Gediminas Urbonas, and Jessica Varner.
China Comes to Tech: 1877-1930
Maihaugen Gallery, February 6, 2017 – November 30, 2017
In 1877, the first student from China matriculated at MIT. By 1910, China was sending more students to MIT than any other foreign country. From these beginnings, the Institute became one of the most popular overseas destinations for Chinese students, many seeking to contribute to their country’s modernization through engineering, science and commerce. These students played a key role in bringing new technology and science back to China during an era of rapid modernization, while also promoting American understanding of China and its people.
Early Chinese graduates of MIT produced numerous inventions, from the world’s first Chinese typewriter to the Model C training seaplane, and pioneered work in fields from microwave spectroscopy to nonlinear control theory. These students left a legacy of strong ties between China and “Tech” that profoundly influenced the course of globalization.
Opening in 2017 and organized for the Maihaugen Gallery by Emma J. Teng, T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations at MIT, China Comes to Tech: 1877-1930 commemorates 140 years of Chinese students at the Institute. Taking the 1931 Chinese Students’ Club publication Chinese Students Directory: For the Past 50 Years as a launching point, the exhibit chronicles the history of this MIT community through the Institute Archives.
Wiki How: How to Name Your Solo Exhibition, a collection by Holly Haney
Wiesner Student Art Gallery, Opening February 7, 2017
Arts Scholar Holly Haney ’18 will have an exhibition of collected works in the newly renovated Wiesner Student Art Gallery. The pieces on view are in a variety of media and celebrate youth, queerness and art. The collection includes Noa Mori’s album Twin Bed, oil paintings by Syn Isah, and video art by Alex Leffell.
Haney is a junior at MIT studying Comparative Media Studies. Her interests include art that is publicly accessible, current, and political. She investigates the shape of the music industry, the social effects of the internet, and the way that our constant media constructs our globalized worlds.
Jerome B. Wiesner: Visionary, Statesman, Humanist
The Jerome Lemelson Center for Innovative Thinking, Media Lab
Jerome Wiesner was the quintessential Renaissance man. The breadth of his interests and achievements made him an iconic figure, not only for MIT, but also for the world. During his long career he became an expert in microwave theory, communications science and engineering, figuring prominently in the development of radar while at MIT’s Radiation Laboratory during WWII. Years later, as science advisor to President John F. Kennedy, he played a critical role in de-escalating the arms race and gaining ratification for the partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. As MIT president, he transformed the Institute: Being the best in science and engineering was not enough—tomorrow’s leaders also needed to integrate humanism and the arts into their thinking about technology and policy.
Wiesner changed the world. He was a bold thinker. He was outspoken. He cared deeply. He excelled as a scientist and a teacher with an uncanny ability to see through to a subject’s core. But perhaps most importantly, he was an extraordinary connector of both people and ideas. It was his strong influence within MIT that convinced a skeptical Administration to approve the establishment of the Media Lab.
As the Media Lab celebrates its 30th Anniversary we pay tribute to this unique individual who represented all that the Media Lab hopes to achieve—and so much more.