CAMP OUT: FINDING HOME IN AN UNSTABLE WORLD
June 2–September 16,
Curator of Exhibitions
BGL: Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière (Canada) / Oliver Bishop-Young (United Kingdom) / Cyprien Gaillard (France) / Isabelle Hayeur (Canada) / Edgar Martins (United Kingdom) / Mary Mattingly (United States) / Michael Rakowitz (United States) / Emily Speed (United Kingdom) / Dré Wapenaar (The Netherlands) / Kim Yasuda (United States)
The artists in Camp Out: Finding Home in an Unstable World look at different ways in which the dream of "home" has imploded over the past three decades, and how new forms of home might be fashioned in their stead. They explore the dilemma of finding place in an increasingly commodified, distended and technological environment. Each of the artists in Camp Out—both those whose works are expressed indoors and outside—touches upon an element of life that is both meaningful by itself and as part of a larger whole. These artists explore “home,” an important subset of the topic of “identity,” which has been central to modern and contemporary artistic exploration, as a way to probe the great gulf between the social conditions of the First and Third Worlds, between the urban and suburban, between the drive for urban sprawl and the logic of urban planning. The works in this exhibition animate Laumeier’s spaces so that they become an active laboratory for questioning—not just a passive oasis for contemplation.
Emily Speed’s Inhabitant (St. Louis), 2012, was informed by her time spent in St. Louis prior to the opening of the exhibition. She explores the temporary and the transient by interweaving references between architecture and the human figure in her work. Made of cardboard, electrical tape and acrylic, the artwork is both shelter and clothing—Speed wore Inhabitant (St. Louis) for a hilariously fun performance during the exhibition's opening reception. This sculpture-turned-costume references her interest in how people carry around their collected experience of cities lived and traveled, and also provides poignant moments when posed or situated in relation to some of Laumeier's more historical sculptures, creating a series of comparisons illustrating how public sculpture has changed as an artistic practice. During her ten-day residency in St. Louis, Speed visited some of the "top ten" sites listed in her guidebook, including The Arch, Laclede’s Landing, Citygarden and Crown Candy Kitchen, among others. After completing the sculpture, she revisited these sites and was photographed wearing Inhabitant (St. Louis), interacting with the very buildings and neighborhoods built into the work. Determined by the environment in which it was created, Inhabitant (St. Louis) is uniquely site-specific, as it has taken on characteristics of the local architecture, found materials and Laumeier’s own unique landscape within suburban St. Louis.
Sponsors + SupportERS
Camp Out: Finding Home in an Unstable World is supported by the Graham Foundation and the Netherland-America Foundation, with additional support for the exhibition publication provided by Patricia and David Schlafly and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.