Nina Canell, Milford Graves, Benjamin Kunkel Exhibition

The Artist's Institute

poster for Nina Canell, Milford Graves, Benjamin Kunkel Exhibition

This event has ended.

Today there is something profound, even political, in taking material facts seriously. We often act like matter is something passive that humans can shape, prod, mine, farm, or purchase at will. Yet artists, and our increasingly volatile climate, urgently remind us that the physical stuff around us has its own tendencies and capacities. The world pushes back. Or as Robert Smithson once put it, “There is no order outside the order of the material.” Smithson used entropy––the tendency for order to become disorder––for the purpose of art, and also wrote about the effects of pollution on the environment, work that seems prescient as contaminated waters flood the streets of Houston. This fall, the Artist’s Institute has three fellows, Nina Canell, Milford Graves, and Benjamin Kunkel, whose work brings us closer to the surprising, unstable, and powerful capacities of matter. In the physical sciences and economics, we sometimes call this kind of work energetics––the study of the way that energy flows through a system. For the art field, an emphasis on energetics reorients aesthetics to material expression, sometimes a material expression that exceeds that of the artist’s own imagination or will. Through artworks, concerts, talks, and other events this fall, the Institute’s fellows are engaging with energy as an animating force, one with the capacity to heal people, to upend financial markets, and to make titanium wires twitch.



from September 19, 2017 to December 22, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-09-19 from 18:00 to 20:00

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