Friday, February 08, 2013

Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric at MIT List

Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric presented by MIT List Visual Arts Center

Amalia Pica 
MIT List Visual Arts Center
February 8–April 7, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
April 27–August 11, 2013
Oliver Laric: Versions
MIT List Visual Arts Center
February 8–April 7, 2013
Opening: February 7, 5:30–8pm
MIT List Visual Arts Center
Artist talk with Amalia Pica; João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center; and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, MCA Chicago: 5:30–6:30pm
MIT List Visual Arts Center20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Amalia Pica

Amalia Pica is the first major solo museum exhibition in the US of the 
London-based artist’s work, providing an in-depth look at nearly a 
decade of her artistic practice. Using materials such as photocopies, 
light bulbs, drinking glasses, and cardboard, Amalia Pica confronts the 
failures, gaps, and slippages of communication. The act of delivering 
and receiving a verbal or nonverbal message, and the various forms that 
communicative exchange may take, are central to her work. 

In Babble, Blabber, Chatter, Gibber, Jabber, Patter, Prattle, Rattle, 
Yammer, Yada yada yada(2010) Pica spells out the work’s title using 
semaphore flags. The Catachresis sculptures (2011–) are made with 
objects whose features are referred to metaphorically as parts of the 
human body, i.e., the tongue of a shoe, the teeth of a saw, the legs of 
table, etc. The title of the series is derived from the literary term 
describing the misapplication of a word or expression  to denote 
something that does not have a name.
The literal and metaphorical figure of the listener is also at the center of 
much of Pica’s work. While Acoustic Radar in Cardboard (2010/2012) 
reimagines an outmoded precursor to radar, Eavesdropper (2011) 
suggests the complex relationship between listening, privacy, and 
consent. Other works reflect fleeting moments of shared experience, 
often incorporating the signifiers of celebration and communal 
gatherings with fiesta lights, bunting, and confetti.
Born during the period of Argentina’s dictatorship, Pica has long been 
interested in the relationship between form and politics, and between 
history and representation. In Venn Diagrams (Under the Spotlight) 
(2011) the artist addresses the political history of 1970s Argentina when 
modern mathematics was banned from school programs. Pica also 
looks to civic participation and social forms that allow people to speak. 
Stage (as seen on Afghan Star) (2011) alludes to the Afghan television 
program for aspiring pop stars; for many voting for their favorite, the 
show offered a rare public forum for the expression of individual opinion. 
Surveying the artist’s sculpture, performance, installation, video, and 
drawing, the exhibition is itself conceived as a conversation among 
Pica’s works across various mediums.
Amalia Pica is co-organized by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the 
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and co-curated by João Ribas, 
MIT List Visual Arts Center, and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, 
MCA Chicago.

Oliver Laric: Versions

Oliver Laric’s ongoing Versions (2009–) reflects the conditions of our 
digital world: how original and copy, event and document, are collapsed
in a flattened information space where everything is a click away from 
everything else. Laric’s sculptural and online-based practice addresses 
how the ontology of the digital affords new epistemic and affective 
patterns of experience and understanding. Versions evinces how images 
and objects are continually modified to represent something new, from 
Roman copies of Greek sculptures, to doctored and augmented images, 
remixes, and GIFs. The differing versions of Versions themselves 
address this ongoing history of iconoclasm and copyright. Laric’s 
exploration of the nature of images and objects in digital space reveals 
the internet not merely as a space of representation but of direct 
experience, as the real world is increasingly mediated by screens, and 
knowledge is replaced by “searching.”
Support for the presentation of Amalia Pica at the MIT List Visual Arts 
Center has been provided by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. 
Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric: Versions received generous support from 
the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, 
the Office of the Associate Provost at MIT, the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee, and the Friends of the List.
Amalia Pica and Oliver Laric presented by MIT List Visual Arts Center