Having just ended its opening run at the Guggenheim Deutsche in Berlin earlier this year, Gabriel Orozco‘s two-part set of taxonomic installations, collectively titled “Asterisms,” is now on view at The Guggenheim in New York City. The eighteenth and final project in the Guggenheim’s commission series, the piece continues Orozco’s ongoing exploration into the nature of environments, and the interactions of humans with these spaces, as well as with each other.
Continuing in a series of artistic experiments that place his work at the nexus of the global and personal, Orozco’s work frequently uses his personal experience and physical interactions with the world as an entry-point into broader cultural and natural investigation. With Asterisms, this approach is continued, primarily through a focus on his personal experiences in collection, classification and organization of various found items.
Asterisms is, in effect, two collections of objects culled from markedly different environments. In Sandstars, Orozco displays a set of driftwood, glass, buoys and other manmade material found along the beach of Isla Arena wildlife reserve in Mexico. Alongside this work, he exhibits Astroturf Collection, a similarly catalogued of items found at the artificial soccer field on pier 40, near his apartment in New York City.
The collected items are displayed at the Guggenheim, arranged in a grid pattern that makes apparent the aspects of taxonomic classification at play. Pulling from these disparate environments, Orozco creates a stark contrast between the castoff materials of a wholly organic and almost wholly artificial environment, showcasing the variance of objects at each site, and the effects that their environments have taken upon their appearance.
Alongside these collections, a series of photographs documents the items in their natural “habitat,” capturing the context of their existence alongside the environments’ physical effect on each item. In Sandstars, the pieces are eroded and pale, clearly degraded by the inclement weather at play. In Astroturf Collection, however the erosion takes on a more human nature, with small pieces of bright clothing and other materials from what would imply vigorous workouts at the field, and little real impact from the elements.
Viewing how the environment has remolded and reshaped the forms presented, Orozco shows spaces of interaction between humanity and nature where the processes of change and erosion are still at play.
The show is on view until January 13th, 2013.