Daniel Arsham: Glass and Stone

10 October - 17 November 2012 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present a new commission for The Box by New York based artist Daniel Arsham. Arsham, known for his interventions that challenge our relationship to space and accepted realities, from clocks to chairs, staircases and gallery walls, has been invited to respond to The Box – a miniature project space consisting of a floating white cube set inside a black vertical opening. The Box is a unique architectural space through which the gallery facilitates new projects with important emerging and established artists.


Using The Box to transform his two new sculptures into curios, Arsham causes us to look closely and anthropologically at the form and the idea of these reformulated cameras. Arsham says of this project:


“Photography has always played a large part in the development of my work and my original training was in black and white photography. I have never used photographs as the final product within my practice however I am a prodigious consumer of images. They are used as reference material within my paintings and as a materials catalogue on my iPhone. I have thousands of banal photos of various surfaces and materials that provide reference for my sculptural work. I have also been a collector of cameras themselves.


A photograph can often house the profound ability to encapsulate a moment. These two camera sculptures collapse the form of the camera with a material specific to a time and place. The sculptures are made from materials that could have shown up in images taken with the cameras themselves. The sculpture formed in broken glass is identical to the 35mm camera that I had when I was 12 years old. In August of that year there was an epic Hurricane in Miami in which I was nearly killed. Broken glass was like sand all over the house and even into the streets. The Stone Camera is meant to replicate the Cannon EOS 7D that I have now. I was recently in Cambodia studying the ruins in and around Angkor Wat and this camera is carved from the same stone as the ruins. A future relic.


In my studies of photography I was very interested in Roland Barthes' ideas surrounding the studium and the punctum. ‘Studium denoting the cultural, linguistic, and political interpretation of a photograph, punctum denoting the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it.’ For me these sculptures begin to blend those two concepts into each other within an object, rather than in an image.”


Daniel Arsham was the last artist to be invited by Merce Cunningham to collaborate with him on the set designs for his performances, following an impressive roster of Cunningham’s artist-collaborators including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Recent solo exhibitions include the Park Avenue Armory, New York for the set design of Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s last performances; Festival d’Avignon, Avignon; OhWow Gallery, Los Angeles; and Miami Art Museum, Miami. Recent group exhibitions include Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; Musée de Valence, Valence; New Museum, New York; In Extenso, Clermont-Ferrand; Museum of Contemporary Art, Florida; and Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseilles. Arsham’s commission for The Box will run concurrently with his solo exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Paris.