Large-scale sculptures, a wall-long tapestry depicting cultural intolerance and multimedia projects relating to the US invasion of Iraq make up “Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago now through April 7, 2013.
Curated by Dieter Roelstraete, MCA’s Manilow Senior Curator, and an additional Macuga piece at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, “Exhibit, A” is the first survey of the work of Polish-born, London-based Macuga. A multi-media show, “Exhibit, A” includes artistic commentaries on political events and cultural divides.
The MCA exhibit ha half the diptych tapestry: “Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not, 1.” The companion piece, “Goshka Macuga: Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not, 2” was organized for the Smart Museum through Jan. 13, 2013 by Stephanie Smith, its deputy director and chief curator.
The diptych portrays in photo-style black and white some Afghans and Westerners outside of Kabul, Afghanistan with the Darul Aman Palace in the background in Part 1 and depicts members of the art world and protesters in Kassel outside the Orangerie in Part 2.
Macuga’s Iraq commentary is “The Nature of the Beast (2010)” project. A photo of at a gallery showing of Picasso's 1937 “Guernica,” painted as a response to the bombing of Guernica in northern Spain during the Spanish Civil War, hangs on a back wall. Translated into a tapestry for the United Nations to encourage peace by reminding people of war’s tragedies, the UN piece was supposedly covered when Colin Powell gave his address justifying an attack on Iraq.
On another level, literally, the artist’s “Model for a Sculpture (Family)” is too high to examine closely. It generates wonder about what a family should look like, if there can be such a thing as a family model, and if model expectations are too high.
Details: Suggested admission $12. Closed Monday. For more information visit MCA Chicago and call 312-280-2660. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is at 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.