Inspired by a small, bronze plaque on their Pittsburgh studio commemorating it as the city’s first incline station, the artists wondered what else happened before and after this historic moment. They spent a year researching and speaking with experts (a curator of the Anthropocene, the director of the National Aviary, a geomorphologist, a botanist, a cinema historian, a city historian, and many neighbors) to uncover the location’s broader history from 600 million years ago to the foreseeable future. This was compiled into a lengthy text and cast in bronze in the form of a new absurdly tall plaque, “Historic Site,” now permanently installed as a companion to the original.
At the same building, the artists opened a new project space, Gallery Closed. The gallery is simultaneously always closed and open; exhibitions are visible 24 hours a day through two street-facing windows. Gallery Closed’s inaugural exhibition, Historic Sight, will unfold over the course of a year, featuring 27 artists who will each visually respond to a different word from the “Historic Site” plaque. The exhibition presents a plurality of voices engaged in abstract and poetic play, collectively challenging the traditional authority of a singular historical narrative.
Historic Sight Artists
Rosa Barba, Melissa Catanese, Raven Chacon, Cooking Sections, Mark Dion, Michael Dumontier, Jimmie Durham, Jason Fulford, Philip Glass, Jim Goldberg, Ann Hamilton, Pablo Helguera, Taraneh Hemami, Jonathan Horowitz, Maira Kalman, Nina Katchadourian, Micah Lexier, Carlos Motta, Ed Panar, Cornelia Parker, Jon Rubin, Keris Salmon, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Tamara Shopsin, Alec Soth, Kerry Tribe, Deborah Willis
For further details, see blackcube.art.
Presented by Black Cube through the Sabrina Merage Foundation Artist Fellowship. Additional support by Pittsburgh Office of Public Art.