Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, The Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Venice, 2009.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, an Tree of Global Warming and Disappeared Land Masses

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

 

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
718-638-5000
New York
Swoon: Submerged Motherlands
April 11-August 24, 2014

Brooklyn-based street artist Swoon will create a monumental site-specific installation in the fifth-floor rotunda of the Brooklyn Museum. Swoon: Submerged Motherlands will transform the gallery into a fantastic landscape and immersive experience, and will be on view from April 11 through August 24, 2014.

The installation centers on a monumental sculptural tree, which will rise into the 72-foot-high dome, with a constructed environment at its base. This constructed environment will feature Swoon’s signature figurative prints and drawings, and cut-paper foliage. Also included will be the rafts that Swoon created and sailed on the Grand Canal uninvited during the 2009 Venice Biennale. In this performance project, Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Swoon and a crew of thirty sailed from Slovenia to Venice on rafts made primarily of New York City garbage, collecting scrapped material in Slovenia, and artifacts and curiosities along their journey.

Known for her intricately-cut printed portraits situated on walls and abandoned buildings and, more recently, for her large-scale figurative installations, Swoon celebrates everyday people, while also exploring social and environmental issues. Often inspired by both historical and contemporary events, Swoon engages with climate change for this installation, particularly the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy that hit New York in 2012, and also Doggerland, a landmass that once connected Great Britain with Europe that was destroyed by a tsunami nearly 8,000 years ago. These places and events separated by thousands of years and miles form a salient image to draw upon and to explore the numerous and complex results of climate change.

Swoon, born Caledonia Dance Curry, studied at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, before bringing her art to the streets in 1999, wheat pasting her large linoleum- and woodcuts on the sides of the industrial buildings of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She has also become active in humanitarian projects: Konbit Shelter Project helps Haitians who lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake to create sustainable buildings; and her work on the Transformazium project in Braddock, Pennsylvania, works with local residents towards creative revitalization of their community. Her art is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern, London, among others, and was featured in exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2008), the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (2011), the New Orleans Museum of Art (2011), and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (2012).

Swoon in her Brooklyn studio.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, 2014, Installatiion view, Brooklyn Museum.

Swoon, The Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Venice, 2009.

Swoon in her Brooklyn studio.

Swoon, Thalassa, Site-specific installation, New Orleans Museum of Art, June 10-September 25, 2011.

Swoon, 1/4 scale model of The Music Box – A Shantytown Sound Laboratory, 2011, in collaboration with New Orleans Airlift.

Swoon's 'Small Acts of Resistance' at the End of Man's Time

Swoon

Swoon

Swoon, Mermaid.

 

Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Avenue
617-478-3100
Boston

Swoon, Anthropocene Extinction
September 3, 2011-December 30, 2012

On the occasion of its 75th anniversary this fall, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) has commissioned Brooklyn-based artist Swoon to create the fifth installation of the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall. Extending from the elevator atrium to the lobby and soaring forty feet up to the ceiling, Swoon’s new installation is the largest to occupy the Fineberg Art Wall. The work, titled Anthropocene Extinction, is composed of streams of intricately cut paper which connect key sculptural elements within the installation — including a 200-pound, suspended bamboo sculpture.

“The opening of Swoon kicks off a dynamic line-up of fall exhibitions and performances celebrating 75 years of contemporary art in Boston,” said Jill Medvedow, director of the ICA. “Swoon is one of the foremost artists practicing street and activist art today. Her work offers an elegant aesthetic vision combined with ingenuity, artistic experimentation, and an infectious spirit of possibility.” 

“Whether on a city street or in a museum gallery, Swoon is highly responsive to the aesthetic possibilities of her environment,” said Pedro Alonzo, adjunct curator at the ICA. “Although her artistic process is extremely labor-intensive, Swoon’s preference for natural and recycled materials lends her work an ephemeral quality. The power of her work is a result not only of its scale and environment, but of the tension created between its complexity and impermanence.”

In both her art and her own life, Swoon is deeply engaged with social issues and humanitarian projects.Anthropocene Extinction looks at the effects of industrialized society on people and the environment, and includes a portrait of one of the last Australian Aboriginals to have experienced traditional nomadic culture. The term “anthropocene” refers to the “age of man” and was recently coined by geologists to describe the outsized influence of man on the natural environment. 

Working alone or in collaboration, Swoon’s work is often about forming a community in order to practice what she refers to as a “real world” engagement. Her latest endeavor, the Konbit Shelter Project, is a sustainable building project assisting Haitians who lost their homes in the devastating 2010 earthquake. During the 2009 Venice Biennale, Swoon and a crew of other artists and friends sailed boats made of reclaimed materials through the canals of Venice — creating new purpose out of what was cast aside. 

Caledonia Curry (b. 1977), known as Swoon, is widely considered a leader in the genre of street art. She is best known for her intricately cut, life-sized portraits found on streets and abandoned buildings in cities around the world. Often found in beautiful states of decay, her wheat-pasted installations are populated by realistically rendered people going about everyday activities in a cityscape of her own invention. Swoon’s prints and paper cutouts take inspiration from the German Expressionists of the early 20th century as well as Indonesian shadow puppetry. Her work belongs to the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum, and has appeared in exhibitions at Deitch Projects (2008) and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2008), amongst others.

Swoon, Street Art London, 2011.

Swoon (Caledonia Curry)