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April 1 – May 28, 2023
→ Hessel Museum of Art
Curated by
  • Ursula Pokorny
Part of
Exhibition Category
Thesis Exhibitions, Student Curated Projects

Imagine a room, in a home, where people come and go. On a shelf, you see a series of obscure forms. You look at them closely and notice that they can be put together to resemble a figure. There is a body, a beak, and wings, and for a brief moment, you see a bird in them. The scene is over, the audience claps, a melody starts playing. After a minute, the humming rhythm becomes a voice. It tells the story of a mole who lost its sense of time and, to orient itself, built seven houses: one for each day of the week.

Fuga includes figures of birds by artist group Proyecto Deatres, fabricated after the curatorial invitation to respond to early modernist toys by Joaquín Torres-García. The group has also reinterpreted avant-gardist melodies by Carmen Barradas from 1922 and read aloud the story of the mole, written by Roma Cortina and illustrated by Lucas Scandinavia (who are both fictional characters from a novel-in-progress by Gabriel Sierra). The exhibition furniture for these interwoven stories was designed by Probject (Manuel Raeder and Rodolfo Samperio).

In curating this show, I was thinking of my visits to homes that artists, designers, and architects constructed for themselves. Now, following their deaths, these spaces have been opened to the public. These homes consist of arrangements that, over time, and piece by piece, took over the space. Everyday objects within them fulfill a designated function and, at the same time, transcend it: a bench is there to sit down on, to be looked at, and to help tell a story.

Fuga does not replicate any specific space. Rather, it references the moment of encountering one. To enter such spaces as a stranger feels like moving into a scene: one imagines how life could be lived there and what characters might appear. The exhibition looks for the intimacy, uncertainty, and nonchalance of these exceptional spaces within the gallery.

Participants: Carmen Barradas, Roma Cortina, Proyecto Deatres (Cristi Aimaretti, Raquel Minetti, Magalí Moyano, María Paula Olivieri, Pedro Sosa, Vicente De Stefano), Lucas Scandinavia, Gabriel Sierra, Probject (Manuel Raeder, Rodolfo Samperio), and Joaquín Torres-García.

With special thanks to Phileas - A Fund for Contemporary Art.
Additional support for this exhibition is provided by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.