After enjoying way too much chocolate and cheese, my 70s college commune buddies–Nazir Sunderji (a Geneva resident) and Cynthia Whittingham (my June travel companion) visited Geneva’s very organized, 20-year old clean contemporary art museum that mixes permanent and temporary exhibitions.
MAMBO—-Geneva’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art–sits in a 4 stories building was originally a physical laboratory now-remade museum in the trendy Plainpalais neighborhood
Right upon entering we stepped on an impressive expanse of a broken mirrored floor by Walead Beshty. Wow! Ongoing inside the museum (29 May-9 September 2019) was a Walead Beshty retrospective. Beshty, born in London in 1976, is American conceptual artist based Los Angeles. The MAMCO retrospective included his Mirrored Floors, FedEx work, Travel Pictures (photos shot in the Iraqi Diplomatic Mission in Berlin that explore the damages airport security’s X-ray scanners can do to images) and his Copper Surrogates.
An exciting visit for me. My art, like Beshty’s looks at how objects travel through time and space and what happens to surfaces and how the surfaces might be repaired, cleaned or not in order to represent what they are in the present moment. And…is the present moment different than the intent moment of the creator. In other words, does art taken its own life after having been put out into the world.
Beshty’s Copper Surrogate works, made in about 2010, are 10 x 5-foot standard industrial
sheets of polished copper folded in various angles. Instead of being produced and marked as a desk or working surface, these works were handled by their installers leaving marks from the installation process on their surfaces that differed based on the sculpture’s shape, scale, and mass. Intent is to map the labor involved in art’s context.
Cindy, Nazir and I squeezed together in MAMCO’s ‘time bomb’ elevator. There’s a bomb timer placed above the elevator that is counting down time remaining until the sun explodes—currently the timer predicts a little under 5 billion years.