A PROMISE IS A CLOUD

When 5 Nov 2011 - 14 Sep 2012
Where MetroTech Center
Downtown Brooklyn
New York, NY
United States

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, The Struggle Continues, 2007/2011. Courtesy of the artists and Public Art Fund

November 5 2011 – September 14 2012

Press Release:

Public Art Fund presents A Promise is a Cloud, an exhibition on view November 5, 2011–September 14, 2012 at MetroTech Center featuring work by four young, international artists: Ohad Meromi, Adam Pendleton, Erin Shirreff, and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES.

Like the atmospheric transformation of a cloud into rain, some works of art have the potential to change their form and meaning. Organized by Public Art Fund Associate Curator Andria Hickey, the show borrows its title from the proverb, “a promise is a cloud, fulfillment is rain” and explores the notion of potentiality in works that incorporate a capacity for transformation—either in their form, process, or visual language.

Extending from the MetroTech Commons toward Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue, the exhibition raises questions about language and subjectivity that reach beyond the plaza. Adam Pendleton’s new commission furthers the artist’s “Black Dada” project, a long-term exploration pairing two concepts, Dada and the notion of “black” as an open-ended signifier. Giving form to a complex exchange of language, performance, and radical politics, Pendleton will install 16 large, silver, black, and white flags along the axis of the Myrtle Promenade. Each flag features a unique and increasingly abstract design derived from the visual language of Pendleton’s “Black Dada” and disrupts the traditional function of the flag as a recognizable and authoritative symbol.

Similarly subversive, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES creates web-based Flash animations using Monaco type and jazz music to compose arresting narratives that are at once sardonic and political. Installed conspicuously on a screen in the MetroTech Commons, YHCHI’s work flashes seemingly political declarations into the corporate plaza at a manic pace. However, as the animation unfolds, it becomes clear that statements of the struggle concern not only issues of class, freedom, and equality but also the most human of experiences—love.

Two new works commissioned for the exhibition foreground the idea of time and transformation and will be physically altered during the course of the show. Ohad Meromi’s large-scale, constructivist, modular sculpture will be activated during two scheduled events in the spring and summer of 2012. Led by the artist, members of the public will move the 13 conical aluminum forms throughout the plaza, animating both the work and the exhibition site. Likewise, Erin Shirreff’s premier public artwork investigates the translation of objects from two-dimensional to three-dimensional forms. This new commission, Sculpture for Snow (2011), expands upon her 2006 video, Sculpture Park (Tony Smith) involving several iconic Tony Smith sculptures. The new work transforms the maquette into a life-size form and extends the artist’s ongoing investigation of the formal relationship between objects, images, and time. The texture and surface of this sculpture literally incorporate the weather into the work’s onsite evolution and will be transformed by the natural elements, gathering snow and rain throughout the yearlong installation and changing how we experience the work.

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