On this exhibition, his most bold works will be championed solely at a distance. Station to station (2013), was a 4,000-mile prepare journey throughout the USA, by which a altering solid of artists, musicians, and different artists traveled in 12 lanes that have been additionally artistic studios. When the prepare stopped, a multi-media “occasion” would seem at chosen stations. On the MCA, we confirmed this extraordinary mission in documentary kind.
There are additionally film variations New Horizon (2019), which featured an illuminated scorching air balloon, and Underwater pavilions (2016), Geometry, steel body sculptures put in off the coast of Catalina Island, California, accessible solely to scuba divers.
It’s the identical scale and ambition of Aitken’s work that ensures that we see solely the documentation somewhat than the true factor. His son Sonic Pavilion (2009) is a sublime and fashionable constructing constructed on a hill within the Brazilian rainforest. It’s an elaborate home by means of a tunnel dug 700 meters into the bottom, by which a microphone picks up the sounds of the earth’s inner actions. (2017) was a home with mirrored partitions erected within the desert close to Palm Springs, however since then reclaimed within the snow fields of Gstaad, Switzerland.
Items like seas of diamonds (1997), positioned within the Namib Desert, one of the vital desolate locations on earth, are free-standing video works with the identical atmospheric intentions because the site-specific installations. We’re invited to journey in our minds to this distant panorama. Someplace within the sand dunes, there’s a diamond mine that’s nearly fully automated, a vivid testimony to the worldwide, pervasive, presence of know-how.
The works we will expertise, as earlier than, are little much less summary and open. Fontana Sonica II (2013/15), which occupies the central a part of the show, is an enormous pool of dazzlingly white water, collected by irregular drops that fall from the pipes above, like a sort of improvised music. New Period (2018) is an set up that mixes mirrors and projections, introducing us to Martin Cooper, who made his first telephone name in 1973. It was a type of historic occasions that nobody appears to know that has revolutionized the way in which we dwell. Cooper has turn out to be an previous man, however the know-how he has launched remains to be rising, crossing the planet with ever-increasing knowledge volumes, at ever-increasing speeds.
I think the job that can have probably the most attraction to viewers is migration (empire) (2008), a three-channel video set up that takes us right into a succession of fine and combined American lodge rooms. Everyone seems to be occupied by a wild animal – a mountain lion, a buffalo, a horse, a fox, a deer, a peacock, an owl, a gaggle of rabbits … maybe probably the most attention-grabbing is the beaver that climbs into the tub. .
The animals act in a different way, however other than the passive rabbits they appear very confused by the lodge rooms. It’s an absurd situation that makes us conscious of the unnatural character of those repetitive rooms and formulation scattered all through the panorama wherever people have settled. Watching the movie he begins to determine with the animals, questioning why everybody don’t go loopy in these gloomy enclosures. Possibly they do. An enormous share of Individuals right this moment appear to have found insanity as a lifestyle.
Aitken rises above this epidemic of stupidity. Cool, philosophical, a manufacturing unit of distinctive concepts, it makes artwork for many who are keen to go away the security rails and transfer into that zone of uncertainty between the true and the digital. “Each job I do is an experiment,” he as soon as stated, however artwork galleries should not laboratories. With Aitken’s work, there is no such thing as a goal measure for achievement or failure. It’s as much as you, viewer-like creator, to make the decision.
Doug Aitken: New Period, Museum of Modern Artwork, till February 6, 2022.