Glenn Kaino, Tank: Prospect 3 | New Orleans
Kaino’s contribution to Prospect.3 is Tank, a series of aquariums in which parts of an armored tank—cast in clear resin—are submerged. The inert surfaces are primed as sites, assembled battlefields, on which a different form of combat takes place. Human militants have been replaced with variant species of coral, which generate imbalanced ecological relationships; antagonists or symbionts are identified as such based on a set of conditions: a delimitation of space, relative growth rate, and placement. The transitive contours of the colonies are negotiated through systems of dominance and subjugation, driven only by sense perception and a competition for substrate. Here, acts of empire are stripped bare— reduced to the biotic and primal, emptied of ideology. In these living paintings, the ever- changing terrains unfold in real time conferring axes of duration to the work. The violence of conquest is a reenactment, made traceable through slowness, and even rendered poetic and beautiful. We are transformed into spectators and witnesses in a theater of war that performs itself, blindly, as we dwell on the fate of life sustained, threatened, or expended. In Tank, oppressive regimes found in nature are reassembled on the dismantled relics of war—trapped in a recursive formula, until we emancipate our vision beyond the glass walls that contain it.
Guided by several curatorial themes, P.3’s exhibitions, site-specific installations, and new works addressed “the New Orleans experience,” seeing oneself in the Other, the South, crime and punishment, moviegoing, the carnivalesque, abstraction, and visual sound. Prospect.3 also included an exhibition within an exhibition at the Ogden Museum: Basquiat on the Bayou. Presented by The Helis Foundation, the exhibition was a focused exhibition of paintings and drawings by Jean‐Michel Basquiat that considered his work in light of his relationship to the American South. Basquiat and the Bayou was one of several efforts in the Prospect.3 exhibition to pair art-historical themes and investigations with contemporary artworks. An illustrated catalogue accompanied the exhibition, with an essay by Sirmans introducing the work and its themes in addition to essays by preeminent scholars Robert Farris Thompson and Robert G. O’Meally.
Glenn Kaino (b. 1972, Los Angeles, California) was trained as a sculptor, and has also worked extensively with biologists, robotics specialists, programmers, animators, hackers, cartographers, weavers, Zapatistas, and magicians to develop his oeuvre. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at venues including: LA><ART, Los Angeles; Performa09, in collaboration with Creative Time, New York; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Project, New York; and at Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles. Kaino’s work has been included in group exhibitions at international institutions including the 2013 Lyon Biennial; Expo Chicago; Museum der Moderne Mochsberg, Salzburg, Germany; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Impakt Festival, Utrech, The Netherlands; the Santa Monica Museum of Art, California; and the Bronx Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. In 2004 his work was included in both the Whitney Biennial and the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art. Kaino has received various fellowships and international awards, including the California Community Foundation Grant (2010); the Contemporary Collectors Award, Orange County (2009); the Heinz Endowment Initiative in the Arts (2008); and the Fellows for Contemporary Art Grant (1998). Kaino cofounded Deep River (1997-2002) an artist-run gallery in Los Angeles. Most recently he cofounded The Mistake Room, an itinerant platform for exhibitions, publications, and situation-specific artist projects in Downtown LA.
Drawing on the alphabet and axioms of disparate spheres of knowledge, Glenn Kaino (b. 1972)—whose shifting identity aligns with those of the bandit, poet, alchemist, philosopher, cartographer, entrepreneur, and magician—produces work that is founded on the mutability of limits. The unfamiliar landscapes he creates attune us to moments of poetry when art “happens”; when the encounter between the world of aesthetics folds imperceptibly onto the plane of our lived experience, giving way to potentialities of imagined futures.
GLENN KAINO, ON CONCEPTS AND CORALRachel Small, Interview Magazine, November 18, 2014
GLENN KAINO — GLENN KAINO, WITH PAIGE K. BRADLEYPaige K. Bradley, ARTFORUM, October 24, 2014