Magazine article Sculpture

Beijing

Magazine article Sculpture

Beijing

Article excerpt

BEIJING

Anita Glesta

Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology

Anita Glesta¡s multimedia installation, Gernika/Guernica, stitches together two earthshaking events, the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the bombardment of Guernica in 1937. It was first shown in New York in 2007 at the Chase Manhattan Plaza and White Box in Chelsea. Since then, it has traveled to the Instituto Cervantes in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2008; the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2009; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, in 2012; and Beijing¡s Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology in 2013, where it inaugurated the Dame Jillian Sackler International Artists Exhibition Program.

Glesta lived across the street from the World Trade Center and fled the collapse of the towers, an indelible memory. From her experience came this multi-part, immersive work, which includes interviews with five survivors of the Guernica bombings and a woman who lived in the region, all children at the time and now in their 70s and 80s. They tell their stories simply but movingly, and it is intriguing to note what they remembered and how those memories must have been shaped, reshaped, and fixed in the years that followed-part fact, part fiction. For the Sackler installation, eight steel boxes in the guise of 1930s radios were placed throughout a spacious outdoor courtyard. The boxes are distinguished by small bronze figures taken from Picasso's Guernica-an oak leaf, symbol of Basque independence; bull horns; a horse's rump; a shattered heart, symbol of grief; or the artist's hands and feet, emblematic of creativity and pilgrimage-images of carnage but also of humanity and culture. …

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