Play with Me: Interactive Installations

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Capula (detail) © Courtesy of the Artist and Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
Play with Me: Interactive Installations

628 Alamitos Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
June 17th, 2012 - September 2nd, 2012
Opening: June 17th, 2012 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

long beach
Wed,Fri,Sat,Sun 11-5 ; Thur 11-9
interactive, installation


Play with Me explores the interactive potential of contemporary art within installation art. The exhibition seeks to dispel notions of distance by breaking down barriers of access to art by the public, so that contemporary art can be experienced by the audience as engaging and approachable. The artists selected promote the participation of the spectator with work that stimulates their playful participation; a key idea in the exhibition is to perceive traditional mediums such as painting, for example, beyond the established conventions and barriers between the viewer, the work of art and the institution, by allowing an immersive experience within the painting itself as opposed to observe it from a distance as an enclosed picture plane.

This exhibition proposes multiple layers of complexity for the viewer, engaging them personally but also inviting them to see their role on a larger or global context. While challenging audiences to renegotiate the idea of contemporary art, the space in which they interact with it and broader elements including the use of technology and society’s acceptance of technological surveillance, furniture as a significant element of our daily life and the space we inhabit, as well as major issues such as the environment. The artists and installations for Play with Me propose to create an environment which is thought-provoking and unconventional, engaging and playful.

Play with Me will feature 12 medium and large scale installations by artists interested in interaction and the relationship of the object with the spectator. Even though all the works in the show encompass a form of critique, some of the installation will promote a type of interactivity which is playful and imaginative such as in: Franklin Cassaro (Brazil, b. 1962) will create an "inflatable," a large tent like structures made out of newsprint and packing tape or materials such as Mylar. The inflatable is activated by the movement of air, whether from an electric fan or the wind, and can be entered by the visitor. 0 to 0, 2012 by Darío Escobar, (Guatemala, b. 1971) will consist on an unusual basketball court where the public will be able to play inside the museum. Federico Herrero (Costa Rica, b. 1978) translates the mix of colors, shapes, and forms of the streets of San José and the tropical landscape that surround the city, onto gallery walls. At MOLAA he will intervene several areas in the galleries and the spectator will be able to interact with the pictorial space. Three Religions, No God and the Children, 2003 by Ernesto Neto (Brazil, b. 1964), originally presented at MOCA, the work consists of a sculptural installation of translucent fabric from the gallery ceiling, and visitors can enter through three openings that lead to a variety of interactive spaces, providing stimuli for the senses and the mind. Pedro Reyes’ (Mexico, b. 1972) interactive, sculptural Capula, are part of an ongoing series that he has installed around the world. Woven by Mexican craftspeople, these vinyl interactive sculptures translate local basketry techniques into an architectural scale. Designed to be a malleable structures, the Capula promotes interaction with the piece and amongst the people sitting inside it. Sofía Táboas (Mexico, b. 1968) one of the most important contemporary artists in Mexico, will present a suspended garden that will develop and grow as people will plant seeds in suspended pots. Antonio Manuel (Brazil, b. 1947) is one of the most important artists to emerge in Brazil in the 1960s. Using various forms of expression, the work of Antonio Manuel carries a character of disquiet and of constant reflection on the social and political character of Brazil. For Play with Me, Manuel will install one of his Occupations/Discoveries 1998/ 2012 site specific wall installations, which the artist builds, paints and then hammers to create ragged orifices for the public to walk thorough.

Inviting to a more critical and thoughtful interaction are installations by: Media Womb, 2009, by the Collective Cubo, (Mexico/US) is an initial dialog to bring together several questions that concern a small group of artists and cultural producers active in the transborder region such as: the loss of public space and the decomposition of social networks, and the prevalence of media as the space of representation and as an arena of domination, reproduction and distribution of fear, paranoia. Deep Thought V2, 2009 by Dream Addictive, (Mexico) proposes an interactive work which highlights the possible dialogue between the reality of the audience and the simulation provided by machines. Voz Alta, 2008, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, (Mexico, b. 1967) is a memorial commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the student massacre in Tlatelolco, which took place on October 2nd 1968. In the piece, participants speak freely into a megaphone placed on the "Plaza de las Tres Culturas," right where the massacre took place. The prototype is the same Megaphone as was used in the public art piece, except it has been modified to incorporate a powerful xenon searchlight inside, so that when a participant speaks into it, his or her voice gets converted into light flashes.

List of participating artists:

Alberto Baraya (Colombia)
Franklin Cassaro (Brazil)
Cubo (Mexico/USA, Giacomo Castagnola, Camilo Ontiveros, Felipe Zúñiga, Nina Waisman)
Dream Addictive (Mexico)
Darío Escobar (Guatemala)
Federico Herrero (Costa Rica)
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Mexico)
Antonio Manuel (Brazil)
Ernesto Neto (Brazil)
Rubén Ortiz-Torres (Mexico)
Pedro Reyes (Mexico)
Sofía Táboas (Mexico)