kukielskit

Posts by kukielskit:

iDubai

Monday, January 27th, 2014
Mall-of-Dubai-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Mall of Dubai, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

It has been endlessly pleasurable to watch museum visitors react initially with some confusion and then with delight at the collection of mechanized musical instruments that echo from the middle of the museum’s great Hall of Sculpture. Perhaps even more unexpected is the slow ambulation many visitors make around the outer walls of the same space. I watch visitors stop, stare, read, and admire the 29 Joel Sternfeld photographs that line the black bays spliced in between the white marble pilasters that are a hallmark of this space (museum lore attests that the room was based on the Parthenon). It is easy to lose time in this gallery, at least until one of two compositions erupts in orchestra every 20–30 minutes and pulls you outside of your head.

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Joel Sternfeld’s artist talk is this Thursday, January 30, 6:307:30 p.m., Carnegie Museum of Art Theater
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Sternfeld’s Sweet Earth series is an easy favorite. Once you’ve digested one image and text combination, it’s hard to resist Sternfeld’s storytelling. In the broadest sense, the subject of this work deals with experimental communities that tested utopian pursuits, past or present. The series is rich with colorful accounts of human conflict, delusion, faith, and perseverance. The thoughtful photographs were taken with Sternfeld’s trusty 8×10 camera.

Yet Sternfeld is no stranger to shooting from the hip. Recently the artist made a surprising body of work using his cell phone camera. Unlike the quiet, forgotten backroads of America, his newer subject demands a certain agility: consumerism. Specifically, Sternfeld spent a number of recent trips to Dubai photographing in one megamall or another. He was interested in using a consumer device—his iPhone—to turn his eye on global consumption. The result is a wide range of photographs that both reflect out onto the cultural and consumerist race that is now fueling the Emirates, while at the same time subtly hinting at the experience of alienation amid consumerist proliferation. This is the sentiment we see most often in the faces of the Sternfeld’s unsuspecting passersby. Nothing is quite grandiose or staged in these pictures, as one might expect from a place that touts the world’s largest building (the Burj Khalifa) and whose tourism numbers topped 10 million last year. Instead, Sternfeld triumphs the beautifully mundane and the result is an empathetic look at where we stand at a global crossroads. Here is a selection from the iDubai series.

Valet-Parking,-Kempinski-Hotel-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Valet Parking, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

The-Burj-Al-Arab-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, The Burj Al Arab, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Ski-Dubai-3-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Ski-Dubai-2-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Outside-Wafi-Gourmet-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Outside Wafi Gourmet, Wafi Mall, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Magic-Planet-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Magic Planet, Mall of the Emirates, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Dubai-Aquarium-and-Underwater-Zoo-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Mall of Dubai, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Deira-City-Centre-Mall-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Deira City Centre Mall, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Choitrams-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Choitrams, “The Market” at Green Community, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Amusement-Park-High-srgb

Joel Sternfeld, Amusement Park, Deira City Centre Mall, 2008–2009, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

 

Art, Bikes, and Tea

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Dog with books

We had our first snow of the season last night, but we won’t let that stop our hotly anticipated bike art tour of Pittsburgh this Saturday. Daniel Baumann and I, along with Bike Pittsburgh, will be your fearless guides through the cold streets. We start at home base, beside the Phyllida Barlow sculpture that is part of the 2013 Carnegie International, then it’s a short jaunt over to Kraus Campo, a garden sculpture designed by Mel Bochner on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Next we cruise (mostly downhill!) over to the South Side, then downtown for a quick break in two of our favorite public plazas, one with chairs made by Scott Burton for the 1985 Carnegie International, and another straight out of Louise Bourgeois’s wild imagination. She too was in an International exhibition in 1991, proof that the Carnegie International leaves its mark on this city in mysterious ways. The intrepid will join us over to Randyland for a real treat in Do-it-Yourself public art practice, then to the wondrous Maxo Vanka murals of St. Nicholas’s Church in Millvale. As time allows, we will heat up with tea in the 2013 Carnegie International apartment on 44th Street in Lawrenceville before heading home through the Allegheny Cemetery. By then, I assume all will be ready for lunch and de-icing in the warm galleries of the Carnegie.

 

Enter the archive

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Jeff Koons sculpture being installed during 1988 Carnegie International

Jeff Koons sculpture being installed during 1988 Carnegie International

Some say that the Carnegie Museum of Art was the first museum of modern and contemporary art in the U.S. It is true–as far as American institutions go–the Carnegie has been around the block. It opened in 1895 and a year later started an annual exhibition to bring work by the best and most talented artists to Pittsburgh. We inherited this model of an exhibition and hence thought it pertinent to reflect back on how it all went over these 117 years. Now, enter the archive: a visual history as told through installation photos and films (some seen for the first time), a few choice artworks, and a good amount of text. It opened over the weekend and will be up through the run of the 2013 Carnegie International.

Carnegie International in the 1990s and 2000s

Carnegie International in the 1990s and 2000s

 

Carnegie International in the 1960s

Carnegie International in the 1960s

 

 

 

Apartment Talks in photos

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Tote bags

Also check this article about the Lawrencville Talks in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The best photography bookstore in Pittsburgh

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Spaces Corners 2

Spaces Corners 1

I love this store. It made my day when I met Melissa Catanese, its proprietor, a photographer and book lover who moved back to Pittsburgh from New York in early 2011 and opened Spaces Corners a few months later. The second floor of 3803 Butler Street is a quiet and serene space for book buying and perusal. Don’t miss it during your Lawrenceville outing, but if you do, check out their booth at the upcoming Pittsburgh Photo Fair.