Mungo Thomson, January 14, 2016 (David Bowie 1947-2016), 2016, enamel on low-iron mirror, poplar and aluminum, 188 x 142 x 6 cm
The German Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin, one of the most influential cultural critics of the twentieth century, began The Arcades Project in 1927 as a short piece about Paris's nineteenth-century iron-and-glass vaulted shopping passages. The arcades' labyrinthine architecture and the juxtapositions of objects and people, offered an ideal metaphor for Benjamin to examine the era's capitalist metropolis. Forced to flee Nazi persecution in 1932, his unfinished manuscript was not published until it was discovered year's after his untimely death. The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin explores The Arcades Project and its ongoing relevance through works of contemporary art representing the subjects of each of the book's thirty-six sections. The exhibition combines material from the Walter Benjamin archive in Berlin, architectural models of Paris's most significant arcades, and work by contemporary artists including Cindy Sherman, Taryn Simon, Mike Kelley, Andrea Bowers, Chris Burden, Lee Friedlander, Mungo Thompson, and several other artists.