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Date created
Sat, Dec 13, 2014
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WHAT

Image house62526iv-hwny-1411-gh-view06-52xKW6

Thomas Houseago; Moun Room (installation view) , 2013–2014 Tuf-Cal, hemp, iron rebar 1098.6 x 1388.1 x 365.8 cm / 432 1/2 x 546 1/2 x 144 in

What is most remarkable about Thomas Housago’s new installation Moun Room at Hauser & Wirth is that, though it is the artist’s first questioning of the world of art-as-space, he hits the nail right on the head. Housego so far is known to investigate the contemporary value and relevance of the statue and the statuesque from a portraiture point of view. His particular vernacular was that of the staged hero, the prop, thus beautifully questioning the status of the authentic in a world where its antitheses – stage sets and simulacra, have taken up powerful positions. Staying close to the prop vernacular Housage now expanded this exploration into a true 3-D experience, creating a richly layered environment, from the banal iconography of Robert Venturi’s Decorated Shed to the sanctified formal layouts found in ancient Buddhist temples such as Angkor What in Cambodia, the Borobudur temple found on Java, or any of the 4400 temples and pagodas of Pagan, Myanmar. Al this is sympathetically countered by 20th century modernist attitudes of disruptions in harmony and symmetry, most notably those Robert & Sonia Delaunay explored, linking their idiom with the compelling circular language of historic Chinese moon-gates. Overarching all these layers is a multitude of references to the impermanence of effort, and from a critical angle the pointlessness of the type of strive our kind is so well known for. What we end up with is a beautiful brittle and worn pagoda in which the stage props change into true objects and the experience progresses from a detached visual experience to a potentially engaged and private understanding of space in real time.   Thomas Houseago Moon Room 10 Nov 2014 – 17 Jan 2015   Hauser & Wirth 511 West 18th Street New York NY 10011 Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm   Christmas 2014: Closed 24 December 2014 – 5 January 2015 inclusive