Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Bettina Pousttchi

Berlin-based sculptor and photographer Bettina Pousttchi has two shows in Washington, D.C., one at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the other at The Phillips Collection; both continue through October 2.

The solo Hirshhorn exhibition, "Bettina Pousttchi: World Time Clock", marks the debut of the artist's completed series of 24 photographs of public clocks in 24 time zones, from Los Angeles, to Mexico City, to Tashkent, to Bangkok. Each of the clocks in each of the photographs displays the same local time: 1:55 p.m., or what Pousttchi's calls "imaginary global synchronism". In addition, the series depicts colonial powers' reach to faraway places. (See an image of Seoul Time (2012) and of the Hirshhorn installation.)

For The Phillips Collection's Intersections series, Pousttchi has installed Double Monuments for Flavin and Tatlin (2010-2014), a series of five sculptures, 8 feet to 12 feet high, made with neon light tubes and powder-coated materials that control and constrain—metal street barricades, crowd barriers, rails. In dialogue with the work are a sculpture by Naum Gabo and black-and-white photographs from the 1930s-1940s from the museum's permanent collection. Pousttchi's references are to architect-sculptor Vladimir Tatlin and American artist Dan Flavin.

Pousttchi discusses Double Monuments in the video below. (Additional information about the sculptures is available at the exhibition link.)

Pousttchi exhibits internationally, both in solo and group exhibitions, and has been the subject of numerous art essays, a generous selection of which is available on her Website. At least five catalogues of her work are available.

The Phillips Collection's blog, Experiment Station, has published several posts on Double Monuments: read Part 1 and Part 2.

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