While SculptureCenter is closed, ‘no.1 Exhausted in Place’ comes to life online

Rafael Domenech: Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion)
SculptureCenter and Isométrico Publications, 2020

Over the next few weeks while we are sequestered in our homes and SculptureCenter’s exhibitions remain closed, we will try to bring instances of artists’ making and unmaking of art, and the emptying out and filling up of our lives lived on and offline. The title of this series is borrowed from a string of exhibitions mounted by Robert Barry in Amsterdam, Turin, and Los Angeles in 1969-70. This first issue is structured around Rafael Domenech’s exhibition Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion).

Exhausted in Place

While the main highroads of planetary commerce are at a standstill or slowed down to an unprecedented scale, their efficacy is under scrutiny and their vulnerabilities are exposed. The urban centers are practically empty and resemble Hollywood fabrications, institutions (governmental or otherwise) are closed or operating on extremely reduced scales.

Like most other institutions, SculptureCenter is closed, yet the building still holds an exhibition by artist Rafael Domenech. In his work, Domenech considers how artwork exists in the ecology of a practice at the intersection of studio, institution, and urban space, while addressing an economy of means in his production. The artist ponders how material histories and applications are developed following standardized metrics of life and how artworks operate within this infrastructure, or “invisible architecture,” as Domenech refers to it.

New Artist Publication

Domenech’s publication, produced in conjunction with his exhibition and now available as a PDF, looks at how semantic and physical architectures create contemporary art’s institutional context. Its primary essay, Work of art in the age of codes and regulations, is an attempt to capture some of the main concerns and suggestions of the artist’s work. Perhaps some of these ideas become more evident in a moment when the structures that contemporary artworks engage with are functioning at much lower capacities.

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