New York, NY - Dia Art Foundation announces the launch of Half Full - Half Empty, a web-based project by artist Barbara Bloom, the latest in Dia's ongoing series of online artworks. The project can be seen beginning June 26 at www.diaart.org/bloom. An opening reception will be held at Dia on Thursday, June 26, 2008, from 6 to 8 pm on the fifth floor at 535 West 22nd Street, New York City. A brief dialogue between the artist and Lynne Cooke will begin at 7 pm.
Reminiscent of several of Bloom's favorite forms--still life painting, the radio play, and the Nouveau Roman of the 1950's--Half Full - Half Empty is a still life that does not remain still: a close up of a table, ordinary yet referring to still life painting. A book, keys, ball, paper, grapes, wine glasses, a gift, and a candle are also visible. These almost still objects have movement in time without any visible agency. On an accompanying soundtrack a dialogue between a male and a female voice is encountered in the form of three parallel running versions of a conversation: Present (two adults,) Future (two old people,) or Past (two children).
In the absence of any visible human hand, the objects on the table that would typically serve as clues or signifiers, as illustrators of the narrative, take on a more central role as conveyors of meaning. The protagonists of the work are the grapes that disappear, the teacup that fills and spills, the candle that lights and later blows out, the glasses that reflect the room where the conversation takes place. The common subjects for what is visible and audible are memory and the passage of time.
As in much of Bloom's work, absence and inference play a central role. She has come to refer to her works as Visual Innuendo, and has often quoted a saying that goes: "A drink before, and a cigarette after, are the three best things in life."
Barbara Bloom was born in Los Angeles in 1951; she studied at Bennington College, and with John Baldessari at the California Institute of the Arts. For many years she lived and worked in Amsterdam and Berlin before returning to the United States in the mid 1990s. She has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the MAK, Vienna; the Serpentine Gallery, London and other international venues, including the Venice Biennale (1988) where she received the Due Mille Award. She is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Getty Research Institute.
The Collections of Barbara Bloom, a major survey of her work, was presented in early 2008 at the International Center of Photography in New York City, and will travel in late summer to the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Berlin. A book of the same title has been published by ICP/Steidl Verlag. She currently lives and works in New York City.
Artists' Projects for the Web
Dia initiated a series of web-based works in early 1995, becoming one of the first arts organizations to foster the use of the world wide web as an artistic and conceptual medium. Dia's collection of web projects currently numbers twenty-seven. Previous projects include Rosa Barba's Vertiginous Mapping (2008); Ezra Johnson's Wrestling with the Blob Beast (2008); Wilfredo Prieto's A Moment of Silence (2007); Maja Bajevic's I Wish I was Born in a Hollywood Movie (2006); Dorothy Cross's Foxglove: digitalis purpurea (2005); Ana Torfs' Approximations/Contradictions (2004); Allen Ruppersberg's The New Five Foot Shelf (2004); Glenn Ligon's Annotations (2003); Shimabuku's Moon Rabbit (2001); Stephen Vitiello's Tetrasomia (2000); Diller + Scofidio's Refresh (1998); and Komar and Melamid's The Most Wanted Paintings (1995), among others. All may be visited at Dia's website, at www.diaart.org/webproj/.
Funding for this project has been provided the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Beverages for the launch event compliments Brooklyn Brewery.
Dia Art Foundation
A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is internationally renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia presents public programs and its permanent collection of works from the 1960s through the present at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in New York's Hudson Valley. In the fall of 2007 Dia initiated a partnership with The Hispanic Society of America in which Dia presents commissions and projects by contemporary artists in the Hispanic Society's galleries. Dia is actively engaged in a search for a permanent home for its New York City initiatives. Additionally, Dia maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and in Bridgehampton on Long Island. For additional public information, visit www.diaart.org.
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