VIEWLIST: There are many things in the air and all of them are for free, Conceived by Michelle Grabner

Our second VIEWLIST exhibition is conceived by Chicago-based artist Michelle Grabner.

So I think what comes next is a web with big holes blown in it. A spiderweb in a storm. The turtles get knocked out from under it, the platform sinks through the cloud. A lot of the inherent contradictions of the web get revealed, the contradictions in the oxymorons smash into each other.” — Bruce Sterling, February 2009

Fiscal exigencies have bestowed artists with promising new freedoms. No longer charged with the aim to develop tamped spoils for the voracious speculative collector, many artists are once again examining the formal dimensions of three-dimensional space.

In photography this can be seen in the renewed and enthusiastic interest in abstraction. The exploration of the darkroom’s technical limitations and its structural truths are once again concretizing photography.

The superabundance of ceramics and cast-metal objects weighing on gallery pedestals of the recent years has given way to boundlessness. Untying gravity and provoking physical space is being ushered back into the formalist’s syntax as traditional measures of object value have broken down.

Unlike the contemporary accretion work that engages in synthetic concepts of space, the works included here actively invent spatial relations, experiment with organizing structures and choreographing movement. Accumulation and collection practices — many of which were aptly featured in the New Museum’s “Unmonumental” exhibition — are acts of imitation, a superfluous and redundant practice mirroring web navigation and digital information gathering: web 2.0 assemblage.

“There are many things in the air and all of them are for free” is the title of a loopy wire sculpture by Diango Hernández that is currenty on display at the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach. I have adapted this title for my purposes as it locates value while poetically summoning the progressive fact that three-dimensional space is new again.

Look up.


VIEWLIST is our online project space where we invite artists and others to curate a visual essay of images. VIEWLIST exhibitions are experimental and usually thematic, and can include art works spanning various time periods, movements, and geographic locations. Exhibitions may also include ideas and images from disciplines outside of the visual arts. With VIEWLIST, we’ve created a venue that focuses exclusively on ideas, a kind of idealized curatorial space, where exhibition budgets, loans and acquisitions of art works, timelines, and all other logistics are set aside.