Sikander and Barney in concurrent shows at MIT’s List Center

Matthew Barney, “Nisshin Maru (detail)”, Photogravure print, 2007, Courtesy List Visual Arts Center

Matthew Barney and Shahzia Sikander, both Season 1 artists, currently have exhibitions at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center in Boston. Barney is best known for his work in sculpture and video, but his printmaking practice is an interesting and unexplored part of his body of work. As a result Photogravure Prints from Drawing Restraint 9 will have a lot to offer those attempting to keep up with the ever-expansive Barney mythology. Drawing Restraint 9, the latest in Barney’s ongoing metaphorical investigation of creativity, takes place on a Japanese whaling ship, and shows Barney, his life partner Bj√∂rk, and the ship’s crew ritualistically recreating his field emblem image with petroleum jelly. The prints in this exhibit are from production stills showing this sequence.

Shahzia Sikander, “Pursuit Curve”, Digital animation: sound color, 2004, Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Shahzia Sikander’s Pursuit Curve is a digital animation with accompanying music by composer David Abir. Sikander uses the pursuit curve, a mathematical function which describes the progress of a chase, as a visual starting point from which to investigate the way culture, identity, and iconography interact. These brightly colored sequences, which contain suggestions of bomb blasts, fireworks, and turbans, resist easy interpretation, and challenge viewers to name what they’re seeing. The animation is currently playing continuously throughout the day at the Media Test Wall. You can find more information about the exhibition here.