The Seduction of Galileo Galilei
20 October 2011 - 19 February 2012
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
The latest New York City museum shows have us watching these four artists. At the Whitney, Aleksandra Mir seduces Galileo and collages saints with Saturn V rockets. Though many have tried, Doug Rickard’s series at MoMA may be the first successful photography project based entirely on images from Google Street View. Maurizio Cattelan goes into retirement with one final prank at the Guggenheim, dangling an entire career of work from the ceiling of the rotunda. Finally, Clifford Owens assembles an all-star team of African-American artists to score performance works for his solo show at MoMA PS1 in November.
Polish-born artist Aleksandra Mir studied at New York’s School of Visual Arts and traveled the world to create work that deals with institutions from religion and politics to entertainment. In The Seduction of Galileo Galilei at the Whitney Museum, Mir’s seduction takes the form of a gravitational experiment inspired by Galileo. In the video, Mir gleefully instructs a crane operator to stack tires until they topple over. The work doesn’t speak so much to the friction between science and religion as the legends and mythologies around Galileo himself. Also on view are collages from Mir’s series The Dream and the Promise, which pair religious icons with space travel, galaxies, and nebulae. …