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Liz Glynn, Meredith James, Xiaowei Wang

January 27—February 20, 2011

Panel Discussion: Thursday, February 3, 6 pm
Opening celebration to follow in the main gallery

Three recent graduates from the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies will participate in Object Lessons, the first exhibition of 2011 at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibition will include mixed media, video installation, an environmental work addressing the design of Carpenter Center, and a reconstruction of Le Corbusier's iconic furniture using detritus gathered from the demolition site of the Fogg Art Museum. The artists will discuss their practice and life after VES in a panel discussion, followed by the opening celebration for the exhibition.

Additional exhibition events:

Walking Tours conducted by Xiaowei Wang:
"A Brief History of Bodies of Water"

Saturday, Feb 5th at 2 pm
Sunday, Feb 13th at 2 pm

Walking tours are forty minutes long, winter appropriate dress advised (although the tour will be partially inside). The tour will focus on the cultural geography of the Carpenter Center and its surroundings.


Liz Glynn, 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project
Liz Glynn, The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project

Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn uses objects and actions to explore the ambition of empire and the pleasure of ruin. Her practice seeks to embody dynamic cycles of growth, possibility, and decay by evidencing process, encouraging participation, and inciting future action. Glynn will be exhibiting two video works: The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project (2008), in which a replica of Rome is built and destroyed in a day, and No Resistance is Futile (2009). As the Josep Luis Sert Practitioner in the Arts at Harvard for 2010-11, she will also be creating a site-specific work using the detritus from the Fogg Museum renovation to construct full-scale replicas of Le Corbusier’s iconic furniture. Current VES students will participate in this artist residency with Glynn, assisting in the fabrication of the objects, while engaging in a series of experimental sculptural processes and building their own projects using unconventional materials.

Meredith James, Day Shift
Meredith James, still from Day Shift

Meredith James engages architectural space to invert both perception and narrative in her work. She will exhibit sculpture, Applause (2010) and Jail House (2008), and the video installation Day Shift (2009). James created Jail House as a formal problem: a building with no interior. An image of the jailhouse exterior is printed on all four sides of every block used to construct it. When blocks are removed or reorganized, the architecture changes, but there is still no access to the interior, creating what James describes as "a perfect prison." In Day Shift, James constructs a set where she personally acts out a surreal narrative that is echoed in the video within the installation. James describes her process: “I set out to make a video in which every transition was seamless. The camera would never ‘cut’ from one image to another, instead each scene would unfold from the previous scene. I let this formal decision dictate the content of the video . . . I wanted the architecture I filmed to perform for the camera like actors that say their lines and leave the stage.”

Xiaowei Wang
Xiaowei Wang, concept sketch for aws : 42.37 n 71.11 w

Xiaowei Wang uses the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts to investigate Le Corbusier’s positions toward situating buildings (or "machines," as the architect referred to them) within culturally produced and natural landscapes. For this exhibition, she creates an intervention outside the entrance to Carpenter Center in response to the architect’s design. The Carpenter Center is the only Le Corbusier building in North America, considered by many critics and historians to be Le Corbusier’s “letter” to the United States. Le Corbusier also expressed that the Carpenter Center was an aggregation of the architectural techniques and elements that he had employed throughout his life’s work. Therefore, any intervention in the space must deal with a vast number of issues that have been and continue to be dissected in Corbusian scholarship. Wang’s research explores the architect’s approaches to using water as a structural and tectonic element, as well as his elevated buildings, which require large movements of earth. She uses recycled and natural materials to create objects that echo the Carpenter Center’s pilotis, a recurring strategy used by Le Corbusier to elevate the building and allow for nature to exist within this space. Against the backdrop of Le Corbusier’s building and philosophies, Wang subtly addresses the crisis of architecture in general, as it struggles to respond to the rapid growth of cities and the need for sustainable growth in increasingly industrialized contexts.

Glynn received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and her BA from Harvard College. Her work has been exhibited at venues including the New Museum (NYC), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Machine Project (Los Angeles), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), and Arthouse at the Jones Center (Austin). In the summer of 2010, Glynn presented the first incarnation of III, a multi-site installation and event series exploring irrational fear and the financial crisis, produced by Redling Fine Art. Reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Art Lies, Domus, Archaeology Magazine, and artforum.com among others. She has attended residencies at O’Artoteca in Milan, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She is represented by Redling Fine Art in Los Angeles and Anthony Greaney in Boston. Her work will be included in an upcoming group show at Paula Cooper Galllery in New York.

Born in 1982, James lives and works in New York. She received her MFA from Yale University, and her AB from Harvard University. She had her first solo show in April 2010 at Marc Jancou Contemporary. Recent group exhibitions include Rive Gauche/Rive Droite (organized by Marc Jancou), Paris, France; Symbol Rush, Newman Popiashvili, New York; Experiment, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Kings County Biennial (curated by Kidd Yellin and James Fuentes), Kid Yellin, New York; People Weekly (curated by Linda Norden), The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York; Careerists and Visionaries (curated by Jacques Louis Vidal), Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York; and Labyrinthitis, Rivington Arms, New York.

Wang received her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies in 2008 and is currently enrolled in Harvard Graduate School of Design’s landscape architecture program. In 2009, she worked on a community urban gardening initiative and was an artist-in-residence at the Institute for Provocation/Theatre in Motion in Beijing. She has created site-specific interventions in Boston, Beijing, and Berlin.


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frame by frame: animated at Harvard talk by Sarah Jane Lapp talk by animator sarah jane lapp penelope umbrico