The artist’s first solo exhibition in Chicago, A Hard White Body, a Porous Slip presents a fragile sculptural landscape composed of porcelain fragments submerged in liquid porcelain slip. Rotting plant material and other debris soak in the shallow pool, coloring the white liquid and dirtying the ceramic surfaces. Alongside archival documents, organic material, and finely crafted objects, the immersive installation also includes a video projected above the pool. Lin’s installation extends the artist’s ongoing exploration of material and non-human histories alongside the biographies of three historical figures: novelist James Baldwin, botanist and first woman to circumnavigate the globe Jeanne Baret, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian.
For this installation, Space Haus designed and constructed the plywood platform and pool.
Photo by Robert Chase Heishman.
From Harlem to Venice to Chicago
Originally created for the exhibition “All the World’s Futures”, curated by Okwui Enwezor for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. This monumental neon work by internationally recognized artist Glenn Ligon was installed at the entrance to the Biennale. This highly charged work alludes to the Harlem Six, a group of six African American men whom were arrested during the 1964 Race Riot in Harlem, and acquitted of murder charges only after years in prison. The work speaks to powerful themes still present today. No more present today are these recurring ideas of profiling and police injustice than the South Side of Chicago. For an exhibition at Theaster Gates project the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, Ligon reconceived the placement of the work for a new audience, a world away from Venice.
On the occasion to show the work in Chicago, Space Haus was asked to help with installation and onsite coordination. Working with rigging teams, Rebuild Foundation and Theaster Gates Studio, we oversaw the movement and installation of this fragile and complex work. Made from heavy steel and a mile of hand painted neon, our teams carefully installed and rigged the work onto custom powder coated frames. It was a pleasure to work with Rebuild Foundation again and to be a part of this amazingly powerful installation.
Photos by Tyler Mallory
Mural meets fountain: site-specific installation
Artist Gigi Scaria’s site-specific installation City Unclaimed combines a large photo-based mural of an imaginary cityscape with a working fountain.
In front of the mural stands a twelve-foot high fountain that echoes the architecture and images behind it.
Our Visual Arts Production division was commissioned to design, engineer and build the fountain based on Scaria’s sketches.
The logistics of life-size: supporting Roxy Paine dioramas
With Apparatus, Roxy Paine introduced a new chapter in his work: a series of life-size dioramas.
Our Visual Arts Production team was involved from early on in the planning stages, providing logistical management and project support
In this project, Paine replicated a fast-food restaurant and a control room, two environments that are activated via human interaction.
The dioramas were made of ultra-detailed hand carved birch, maple wood, and formed steel and are encased by an oversized sheet of custom glass.
Our Visual Arts Production Division worked directly with Roxy Paine Studio, Kavi Gupta Gallery, exhibit fabricators, glass installers and the rigging team to prepare for a month-long installation.
Photos by Joseph Rynkiewicz
Red, Yellow, Blue
Michelle Wasson’s project at Terrain Exhibitions invokes a sense of grandeur, and also mischief. The works sit atop a craftsman bungalow located in a the quiet neighborhood in Oak Park Illinois, an unassuming center for contemporary art. Wasson is a multidisciplinary artist that has shown extensively in Chicago and elsewhere. She is an educator, connector and maker. Space Haus assisted Michelle in initial renderings and modeling. After completing many scale models, Space Haus sculpted, hard coated, painted and reinforced with installation hardware. Not a typical contemporary art venue, Space Haus was then contracted to coordinate installation and logistics, each with their own set of challenges. The globs of paint revisit the Pop sculptures of the 1960's and 1970's. Rendered in a high gloss auto paint, the works glisten as if still wet from being squeezed from the tube.
For Sabina Ott, the sky is not the limit. On the occasion of her long awaited solo exhibition as part of the Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, she decided to build a mountain. Inspired by a little known children's book written by the inimitable Gertrude Stein called “The World is Round”. The story follows a young girl who climbs a mountain peak to gain better vantage of the world surrounding her. For Ott’s mountain, titled “Who Cares for the Sky”, she brings the story into reality. The mountain was built using a variety of industrial materials common to her practice including recyclable foam, artificial turf, paint and wood. For this project she worked with Hyde Park Art Center and the local Chicago Art community to enlist the help of over 40 volunteers of all ages. This monumental work is the largest in the history of the Hyde Park Art Center as well Ms. Ott’s own oeuvre. Parallel to her work, she is the Curator and Founder of Terrain Exhibitions, as well as a prolific Arts educator and mentor. The work was funded in part by a grant from Guggenheim Foundation.
Space Haus acted as Project Manager for this exhibition. We handled major logistics from inception to completion. Space Haus managed the transportation, labor, installation and sourcing of the materials that would become the mountain, including three semi-trucks filled with massive solid blocks of foam. Along with the artist and volunteers and over the course of 4 weeks, we lifted, carved, affixed and sculpted to make this larger than life mountain a reality. With over 6 months of preparation in the design and scale-modeling phase, we determined that it should be built entirely of foam with no hidden super-structure. We constructed the mountain to include a 30’ long tunnel and two caves, as well as a rough-hewn trail that leads to the peak, which is 25’ above the floor. Everywhere that the viewer walks, a surprising niche or a video work or a sound greets them. The mountain aims to be magical and otherworldly, and because of its exaggerated scale in the exhibition space, can never be seen in its entirety.
Photos by Tyler Mallory
Look up: Global gets local
Space Haus was contracted to act as Onsite Logistics Coordinator for the 2015 In/Situ section for EXPO Chicago curated by Louis Grachos. The In/Situ section of the art fair showcased multiple complex sculptures that hung from the main hall ceiling at Navy Pier in Chicago.
We worked with International galleries and artists to ensure that their work was transported and installed to specific standards. Space Haus oversaw the installation of works by Jessica Stockholder, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle and Andy Coolquitt.
The works were on display to the public for a short five day period. After the closing of the fair, the works were de-installed, packed and transported back to the participating galleries. Space Haus oversaw the entire process from transportation to installation, including coordination with Union Rigging, Carpentry and Electrical teams.
Color Cues: Anna Kunz & “Chroma”
Artist Anna Kunz’s work for the “Chroma” exhibit was directly inspired by the gallery space in which it was installed. Taking color cues from the space and the views surrounding it, the work interacts with and inserts itself into the gallery in a way that demands an active response from its viewers. The painted and dyed fabrics function like nets to capture and manipulate light and color.
As viewers walk up the ramps, their perceptions of space and journey are engulfed by color. The experiential work combines with existing spaces and surfaces to add complexity and invite viewers to structure the space in time by walking through it.
Space Haus worked with the artist to plan and install this exhibit.
Hold it right/build it right: Michael Rakowitz at the Art Institute
For an exhibition at the Sullivan Center at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Michael Rakowitz approached our Visual Arts Production division to design a complicated new work.
Based on the Saddam Hussein sculpture famously torn down by US Military forces in Firdos Square after the Battle of Baghdad, the project consisted of a replica of the statue’s pedestal filled with locally caught Asian Carp.
Space Haus worked with US Fish and Wildlife agents to help SAIC navigate the delicate process of displaying these potentially invasive species to the Great Lakes.
Michael Rakowitz, Every Weapon Is A Tool If You Hold It Right, 2014. Installation in A Proximity of Consciousness: Art and Social Action, Sullivan Galleries, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy of SAIC Sullivan Galleries. Photos: Tony Favarula
For the 2016 edition of EXPO Chicago, Space Haus was again asked to be the Onsite Logistics Coordinator for EXPO Projects and In/Situ. Organized by Diana Nawi, Associate Curator at the Perez Art Museum; this edition hosted many well known international artists, galleries and performers. Artists included in the In/Situ section are Spencer Finch, Rodney McMillian, Anna Kunz, Bettina Pouttschi, Amalie Jakobsen, Victoria Fu, Shana Lutker and Juan Cesar Morales.
As with the previous editions, these works were produced specifically for the fair at Navy Pier, and after a 4 day run, were fully deinstalled and packed for return shipment.
Space Haus oversaw the entire process from transportation to installation, including coordination with Union riggers, decorators and electrical teams.