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Queens Chronicle

SculptureCenter rolls out a modest exhibit

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 3:13 am, Thu Dec 19, 2013.

The SculptureCenter recently unveiled several new artworks as part of its fall exhibition.

This time around, the venue has taken more of a bare-bones approach, only showing three pieces and not doing much in the way of decorating. It is one of the more modest exhibits the SculptureCenter has put on, though it is refreshing. The center lets the artwork speak for itself.

Stepping into the SculptureCenter, your eyes are immediately drawn to Tue Greenfort’s piece “Garbage Bay,” which is part research project, part art installation examining Jamaica Bay’s marshland.

The work looks at “the inherent contradictions following perceptions that some types of nature are more significant than others.”

Jamaica Bay’s marshland is not so much suitable for recreational use as it is a functioning ecosystem for many living things. Greenfort argues that because of this, the waterfront has become neglected and is full of garbage — as the title suggests.

One subject Greenfort heavily focuses on is the horseshoe crab, one of the many inhabitants of the Jamaica Bay marshland.

For years, this creature has been killed by fishermen, beach-goers and others because of their menacing and prehistoric look. They are also poached for medicinal purposes and their hard shells. Despite their hard shells and what appear to be stingers protruding from their rear, horseshoe crabs are harmless.

Greenfort does well by reminding viewers of the destruction caused to both the bay and the crabs by scattering the shells of dead horseshoe crabs, which creates a chilling effect on the viewer.

Polish Artist Agnieszka Kurant also had an exhibit unveiled entitled “Exformation,” which examines the ways rumors and fictions enter into social, economic and political systems of the contemporary world.

She achieves this in one of her pieces called “Cutaways.” Produced in collaboration with film editor Walter Murch, “Cutaways” is based on footage of characters who were originally scripted and shot in various films but were subsequently edited out of the final versions.

“The deleted footage of three to five characters will be combined with newly shot footage of a meeting of these phantom characters from various films to create a new narrative based on surplus content and labor,” the press release for the work reads.

While Kurant’s and Greenfort’s pieces were moving, nothing made quite the impression that Sam Anderson’s untitled piece did.

A new program at the SculptureCenter is giving artists the opportunity to pair their artwork with the uniqueness of the center’s venue as part of its “Now Showing” series.

As the first artist of the series, Anderson was asked to work with a newly renovated corner of the SculptureCenter by incorporating ideas and images around the general notions of inauguration and celebration.

What Anderson came up with was truly odd.

In the small area, on top of a white table is a frog skeleton standing upright and holding a scepter of sorts in the air.

Though just a skeleton, the figure is placed in such a way that it appears to be joyously leading a group of folded pieces of loose-leaf in some sort of mini parade.

Anderson, known for her small-scale works, carefully balances between the humorous and the unsettling.

Attendees of the opening reception seemed drawn to the little frog despite the simplicity of the artwork.

While there aren’t as many pieces on view at the SculptureCenter as in the neighboring MoMA PS1 — the space isn’t nearly large enough to accommodate such a collection — all of the pieces on display are moving and solid works of art that are worth checking out.

SculptureCenter fall exhibitions

When: Thursday to Monday,

through Jan. 27

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: The SculptureCenter

44-19 Purves St., LIC

Tickets: $5 suggested donation

sculpture-center.org

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