Two buildings, constructed in different centuries and on different continents, both shattered by war.
In her video installation A Brief History of Collapses, Brooklyn-based artist Mariam Ghani explores the histories, myths, and uncanny architectural similarities between the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany, and the Dar ul-Aman Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. Today, the former has been rebuilt as the primary venue for the art fair dOCUMENTA. The latter remains a ruin.
Architecture, memory, and travel also inform the work of the Korean-born, Los Angeles-based artist Won Ju Lim. In Baroque Pet Shop (2010), Lim layers video of Baroque cathedrals with miniature cities sculpted from ephemeral materials and abstracted images that variously recall fish bowls, caged birds, and scratching posts.
Now, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts are pleased to announce that both artists have been selected as Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellows.
Lim will serve as the Freund Fellow for the 2013-14 academic year. Ghani will serve as Freund Fellow for 2014-15.
Supported by the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Endowment Fund, Freund Fellowships promote the exhibition and acquisition of contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, as well as the teaching of contemporary art principles in the Sam Fox School. Each fellowship consists of two month-long residencies, during which recipients teach in the Sam Fox School and prepare an exhibition for the museum's Currents series.
Most recently, the Berlin-based team of Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock served as Freund Fellows for the 2012-13 academic year. The two artists will discuss their work at the Saint Louis Art Museum at 6p Tuesday, September 24, as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series. Their exhibition, Currents 107: Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock, will open at the museum September 27.
Constructing and deconstructing identity
The selection committee was led by Patricia Olynyk, director of the Graduate School of Art, and Tricia Y. Paik, associate curator of modern and contemporary art for the Saint Louis Art Museum.
"Lim's rich multimedia practice is exemplary of the way many artists are choosing to work today, no longer tied to a singular medium or approach," Paik says. "Lim brings together video projections, sculpture, models, drawings, photography, and collages to create enthralling integrated environments."
"Among the art shown at dOCUMENTA last year, I thought Ghani's A Brief History of Collapses was a standout," Paik says. "Drawing from extensive research of her topic at hand, Ghani produces incisive video installations, photography, and performances that investigate, as the artist says, 'the messy trailing bits around the edges of history.'"
Olynyk, the Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art, also was struck by the dOCUMENTA installation.
"Mariam's work probes the complex ways in which various communities construct and deconstruct their identities, particularly in border zones and transnational territories where conflict is prevalent and unavoidable," Olynyk says. "Her research of cultural history, collaborative methodologies, and use of archives will provide a unique working model for our students.
"I am particularly excited about the arrival of Won Ju Lim this fall," Olynyk adds. "Won Ju's evocative illuminated installations, which offer a stunning cinematic staging of the metropolis and other urban environments, will no doubt resonate with our MFA students—and, I suspect, equally with our graduate architecture students."
Won Ju Lim
Lim's work has been exhibited widely in United States and internationally, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013), Kunsthalle Detroit (2011), Vancouver Art Gallery (2011), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009), Museum of Art, Seoul (2009), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2008), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2008), the International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale, Incheon, Korea (2007), and ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (2005).
Her numerous honors and awards include the Tribeca Film Institute Media Arts Fellowship, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation; the Korea Arts Foundation for Visual Arts Grant; and a California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship.
Lim's work is included in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Vancouver Art Gallery; Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation, Geneva; KKR Ltd, Sao Paulo; Constellation Partners, Las Vegas; and La Coleccion Jumex, Estado de Mexico.
Ghani teaches video, new media, public practices, and research-based practices at the Pratt Institute in New York. She also serves as an artist-in-residence at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute.
Her work has been featured at major museums and festivals around the world, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2013), dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011), the Sharjah Biennials 10 and 9 (2011, 2009), the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (2008), the Tate Modern, London (2007), d/Art, Sydney (2006), EMAP, Seoul (2005), the Liverpool Biennial (2004), and transmediale, Berlin (2003).
Ghani has collaborated with artist Chitra Ganesh since 2004 on the experimental archive Index of the Disappeared; with choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly since 2006 on the video series Performed Places; and with media archive collective pad.ma since 2012 on the digitization and dissemination of the Afghan Films archive.
Won Ju Lim, 24 Seconds of Silence, 2008. Mixed media sculptures and 5 video projections. Dimensions variable. Exhibition view, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China. Courtesy of Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Sun Jianwei.