Hiraki Sawa’s video ‘Migration’ on show

Automatic Cities, Joseph Cornell, and Marcel Duchamp at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Exhibition review by Kraig Cavanaugh

Contemporary Competing with History

Several major league and emerging artists from America and abroad as well as an artist collective from Cuba are presented together in this exhibit focusing on architecture as inspiration and subject for art. …

Featuring work by: Rachel Whiteread, Matthew Ritchie, Julie Mehretu, Sarah Oppenheimer, Ann Lislegaard and…….


Droll videos by Hiraki Sawa are also included in the exhibition. One entitled “Migration” (2003) features the stop-action figures that were originally photographed by Eadweard Muybridge that have been reanimated as tiny characters traveling around someone’s small apartment. A longhorn bull, a camel, and an elephant, along with nude men and women, walk and trot across the kitchen counter, along window mullions, and over the kitchen floor like trails of ants.

As proposed by the exhibition curator, a touchstone inspiration for the artists in Automatic Cities is Marcel Duchamp’s famous mini-museum in a suitcase entitled “Boîte-en-valise,” and it is on also on display in an accompanying exhibition Museums in Miniature: Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell. Duchamp’s suitcase contains sixty-eight miniature reproductions of the artist’s most famous works including “Nude Descending a Staircase” and “Fountain.” Also included in the boutique exhibit are five unique artworks by Joseph Cornell, most notable being his “Pink Chateau”(1944).

…. the majority of the [contemporary] work included makes a simple impression of being capable but not overly terrific.

Through January 31, 2010
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego 700 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA

More from Kraig Cavanaugh here.