Selections from Pedro Laschâ€™s Phantom Limbs and Twin Towers Go Global
Press Release – Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York.
Gallery hours: Wed -Sat: 11am-6pm, Sun: 12pm-6pm
Exhibition dates: September 7 – October 9, 2011
Opening Reception: September 7, 6-9pm
Stephan Stoyanov Gallery / 29 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 / 212.343.4240
Note: The ten finalists of the ongoing Twin Towers Go Global Open Call will receive a special mention during the public reception of this exhibition in New York.
Stephan Stoyanov Gallery is proud to present: Selections from Pedro Laschâ€™s
Phantom Limbs and Twin Towers Go Global, two memorials ten years in the
making, shown in New York for the first time on the occasion of the 10th
anniversary of 9/11/2001.
Visual artist and Duke University professor Pedro Lasch had been living in
New York for more than seven years when the WTC was attacked. He watched
speechless in Brooklyn when the second tower tragically came down. Like so many
others, he decided during the weeks that followed that he would attempt to
translate the collective anger, trauma, and hope for reconciliation into a memorial
artwork. Wanting to produce a truly international memorial that would consider
9/11/2001 in relation to other major global events, the concept of rebuilding the
Twin Towers in different cities around the world came to him almost immediately.
He began working on the project in October 2001, when he read that U.S. soldiers
had requested that remnants of the WTC be brought to Kabul, so they could be
placed in the middle of the first military camp of â€˜Operation Enduring Freedom.â€™
But Laschâ€™s memorial was never meant to join the onslaught of projects seen in
those first few months and years. Perhaps in contrast with the unintended delays at
Ground Zero in New York, the artist conceived of these fictional Twin Tower
reconstructions as a work that would intentionally develop over many years,
perhaps more than a decade. On the one hand, this would allow people to begin to
heal and to develop more nuanced emotional and intellectual responses to the
tragedy and its related artwork. On the other hand, in Laschâ€™s view, time was the
only lens through which to see how the event would impact art and culture, global
political affairs, and our everyday lives.
Between 2001 and 2005, he researched widely, sketched, and created
possible reconstructions through digital simulations. Among other ideas
incorporated into the series from this research, Lasch learned that the beams from
New Yorkâ€™s Tribute in Light had already reappeared in real life in other cities
around the world to commemorate 9/11/2001. During these years, the Manhattan
icons were projected onto the skylines of Paris, Liverpool, Budapest, and
Montevideo. Beginning in 2006, Lasch incorporated these cities and other sites of
global significance in the immediate years after the WTC attacks into elaborate
paintings done in different styles associated with the Western canon. The Twin
Towers are featured in all twelve paintings that compose the complete series, and
are installed in galleries resembling the institutions that house historical works of
art. Entitled Phantom Limbs, these works are at once hopeful, critical, and
contemplative. They are a caring memorial to those who have died in New York,
New Orleans, Baghdad, Kabul, Darfur, and other tragic sites. The selection of six
paintings shown at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery is the first public viewing of any of
these works in New York and the U.S.
This is the second solo show of the artist at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery. A
book on the works shown in his previous gallery exhibition Black Mirror / Espejo
Negro, was released last Fall as a co-publication of the Nasher Museum of Art, The
Franklin Humanities Institute, and Duke University Press.
Pedro Lasch was born and raised in Mexico City. Since 1994, he divides his time
between Durham (NC), where he teaches art, art theory, and visual studies at Duke
University, and New York (NY), where he leads on-going projects with immigrant
communities and art collectives, such as 16 Beaver Group.
His solo exhibitions include Open Routines/Rutinas Abiertas (Queens Museum of
Art, 2006) and Black Mirror/Espejo Negro (Nasher Museum of Art, 2008); his
projects have also been presented at Baltimore Museum of Art, Walker Art Center,
MASS MoCA (U.S.A.), Baltic: The Centre for Contemporary Art, Royal College of
Art (U.K.), Museo de Arte Reina SofÃa (Spain), Centro Nacional de las Artes
(Mexico), The Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), the Gwangju Biennial (South
Korea), as well as the AND AND AND platform of Documenta 13 (Germany). A
selection of his works can be found at: http://www.pedrolasch.com/