This exhibition is the final part of Lan Tuazon’s decade-long trilogy on the order of things: architecture, artifacts, and now, anthropogenic matter. Her projects push the limited and bounded frame of orders so as to reconcile exclusions. Her earliest work in this trilogy, architecture, focused on urban class divisions; the second phase, artifacts, considered the status of objects in cultural customs and practices. With this exhibition, Tuazon has arrived at a consideration of the planet as a container that houses both nature and culture.
In the Land of Real Shadows is a project about the lifespan of things beyond obsolescence. The exhibition draws attention to the vast footprint of our consumer culture and examines how ecological conditions, when met with human actions, transform natural selection into artificial selection. Common items and commodities are accumulated, dissected, and layered to give mass and make seen the unseen byproduct of human consumption. Tuazon uses assemblage and the additive process to compress and collapse space through a method she calls “documentary sculpture,” in which objects are records and indices of our natural and cultural time. Through the artificial fossilization of objects, natural processes are imposed onto manmade products to make visible the effects of geological time and the finitude of human culture.
This exhibition is organized by Amy Hauft, 2017-2018 Acting Director, Visual Arts Center.
Lan Tuazon (b. 1976, Philippines) lives and works in Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tuazon earned her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union and her M.F.A. from Yale University, after which she participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. Her solo exhibition venues include, among others, the Brooklyn Museum, Storefront of Art and Architecture (both NYC), Youngworld, Inc. (Detroit), and Julius Caesar (Chicago). She has been included in group exhibitions at The 8th Floor (Rubin Foundation), Artist Space, Canada Gallery, Sculpture Center, Apex Art, Exit Art (all NYC), Redcat Gallery (LA), the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), WKV Kunstverein, Künstlerhaus (both Stuttgart, Germany), and Neue Galerie in the Imperial Palace of Austria. She was awarded artist-in-residence fellowships at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany, Headlands Art Center in the Bay Area, and Civitella Ranieri in Italy. And as she likes to say, “Lan Tuazon is Lan Tuazon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”