Fusing audio, architecture, sculpture, installation, and performance, David Arsham’s art will re-imagine the High Museum of Art’s interiors with three interrelated installations. The David Arsham: Hourglass not only marks the extension of artist’s investigation into the interpretation of history through physical artifacts but premiers Arsham’s first works in color which mark the significant break in artist’s practice of using the black and white palette. Thanks to special glasses, David Arsham who is in fact color blind is now able to see a vibrant spectrum of color thus explaining his richer color palette and use of purple and blue throughout the show. Daniel Arsham: Hourglass elaborates on Fictional Archaeology a body of work in which the artist casts everyday objects in precious and semi-precious stones and metals. The artist’s site-specific installations are in fact presented in conjunction with two upcoming collaborations between Arsham and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, for Christopher Theofanidis’ commission Creation/Creator and Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orfeo et Euridice.
With his three interrelated installations, Daniel Arsham’s transformation of the space, and of the everyday objects plays with the audience’s senses and the very definition of time and space. Following with his previous project Fictional Archaeology, where the artist cast basketball jerseys in volcanic ash and selenite and cameras in crushed obsidian, shattered glass and rose quartz, Arsham’s installations and transformed objects become a fossil-like index of the present moment while concurrently appearing as future reconstructions of the contemporary world.
In the words of Jonathan Odden, the High’s curatorial assistant of modern and contemporary art “Arsham’s installations challenge our perception of history as static and monolithic… History is profoundly human, created from the objects and events each of us experiences, and Arsham’s work reminds us of these important connections. We are eager for our audiences to experience these environments and activate the spaces.”
In the High’s Anne Cox Chambers Wing lobby, the first installation will feature a series of cast objects in large hourglasses set on stone plinths. Finely crushed crystals will fill each hourglass, obscuring the objects within while the performer will periodically turn the glasses to reveals the objects as the sand drains and a child’s voice projected through the installation describes what is being unearthed. On the second floor, visitors will be transported into a monochromatic blue Zen garden, complete with a Japanese pagoda, tatami mats, petrified trees and ornately raked sand. The garden will also include an element of performance, which further complicates the stability of timelessness in the space while a cavern installation will occupy the gallery adjacent to the gardenscape.
Daniel Arsham’s installations at The High Museum of Art elaborate on the interpretation of history, physical artifacts while immersing the audience in environments that reflect on the relationship between past and present. Presented in conjunction with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Arsham collaboration, the Daniel Arsham: Hourglass will be on view March 4th, 2017 through May 21st, 2017.