Towards a Universal Sublime

Georg Bolster

Sara Reisman

júl 03, 2018 - aug 31, 2018
Galéria HIT, Bratislava

júl 03, 2018 7popoludní

Towards A Universal Sublime
A solo exhibition by George Bolster

At HIT Gallery, George Bolster’s solo exhibition Towards A Universal Sublime features work produced during a two-year residency at the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), and research completed at NASA Ames. With artworks in multiple mediums including drawing, textile, and film, the exhibition is centered around The Moon, McMoon’s, and the Moon Museum, 2016, a film in which Bolster conflates the past, present, and the future, and the necessity for space exploration. The film begins with The Moon Museum, which was the first art object – a small ceramic wafer containing artworks by six prominent artists – to be unofficially sent to the Moon aboard the Apollo XII in 1969. Instigated by American artist Forrest Myers, it featured his own work along with contributions from Andy Warhol, John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenberg, David Novros, and Robert Rauschenberg. Multiple narratives run simultaneously through the piece, from the multicultural narrative of human fascination with the Moon, and the Apollo Missions, to the Moon as the answer to the question of how to preserve our collective human cultural legacy. Bolster’s film features interviews with artist Forrest Myers, and scientists Laurance Doyle, who worked on NASA’s Kepler Mission, Jill Tarter, Cosmologist and former SETI Director, (who was played by Jodie Foster in the 1997 film Contact, based on Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name), and Douglas Vakoch, Director of Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (METI), who discuss the Moon from a variety of scientific perspectives. Bolster's use of documentary format is combined with multiple, non-linear narratives that explore contrasting ideas based on fact and science-fiction.

Research conducted while in residence at SETI prompted Bolster to consider how art and cultural artifacts will be conserved over the next 100 years, given the dramatic changes in climate that are being experienced globally. The selection of specific objects and more broadly what forms of cultural production might be saved, have implications in terms of the monetary and cultural value of art objects. Bolster posits that the decision to save specific objects might not be made on an aesthetic basis, but that they will likely be made based on pragmatic concerns of weight, scale, and cost. In Proposition One: Moon Museum of Architecture featuring The Glass House by Philip Johnson, 2017, Bolster presents us with the architecture of Phillip Johnson’s seminal modernist masterpiece The Glass House, encased within a Buckminster Fuller-style geodesic dome, and, in Proposition 2: Museum of 20th Century Art, Interior with Rabbit (1986), 2018, an intimately scaled metal sculpture by Jeff Koons is pictured within a Fuller-style dome. Bolster proposes the Moon as the perfect site for cultural conservation, with its lack of atmosphere. While a museum built on the Moon might seem like the perfect solution to preserving human cultural legacy as it will cause no further damage to planet Earth, Bolster’s drawings and jacquard textile collectively suggest how the reading of our cultural artifacts will undoubtedly shift in a new atmosphere and landscape of whatever future our society faces.

Towards A Universal Sublime is guest curated by Sara Reisman.

Irish artist George Bolster lives and works in New York City. He has exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe, the United States, and Canada. Selected solo exhibitions include: Amazement Insulates Us All, Memento Vivere, The Lab, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Un/natural History: Drowning Captiva, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Canada (2014); idealisms fail because humans have to live them, Monster Truck, Dublin (2013); High on Christ, Chung King Projects, Los Angeles, (2009); sociodesic: a space for the three great loves, Galway Art Centre, Ireland (2010); and Eye of the Needle, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin (2005). Group exhibitions include: In The Future, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2018); Making Contact: SETI Artists in Residence, New Museum (NUMU), Los Gatos, California (2016); Kenosis in the Supervoid, Station Independent, New York City (2016); Et si on s’était trompé?, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France (2015); Tulca: seachange, Galway, Ireland (2015); /seconds, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2014); These Days: Elegies for Modern Times, Mass MoCA, Massachusetts (2010); Irish Art Does Not Exist, Station Independent, New York City (2014); Flip, Chung King Projects, Los Angeles (2006); and EVA International, Limerick, Ireland (2005).

Bolster’s work has been featured in Creative Ireland: The Visual Arts book by Sean Kissane curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He has been awarded numerous grants from the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, and a Grant for Artists from The Arts Council of England. In 2010, Bolster curated Tulca, festival of Contemporary Visual Arts, Galway. In 2013, he was awarded a residency by the Rauschenberg Foundation, on Captiva Island in Florida, and has been artist in residence at SETI Institute in collaboration with NASA Ames, Montalvo Arts Center/Lucas Artists Residency Program, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Nevada Art Museum and New Museum (NUMU) Los Gatos from 2016 to 2018. Bolster was recently awarded an Artist-in-Residence at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, France, where he will work on a new film piece in 2019.