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The Pleasures of Challenged Perspective-Rashomon at Montalvo

The Pleasures of Challenged Perspective-Rashomon at Montalvo

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Published by: montalvoarts on Mar 13, 2013
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03/13/2013

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For Immediate Release Contact: Leah Ammon, (408) 961-5814March 13, 2013 lammon@montalvoarts.org
The Pleasures of Challenged Perspective:
Rashomon
at Montalvo
Groundbreaking sculpture by Chuck Ginnever installed on newly-reopened Great Lawn launches Montalvo’s 2013 Art on the Grounds program
SARATOGA, Calif.
Montalvo Arts Center
is pleased to announcethat on
Wednesday, March 13
, with the reopening of its newlyreplanted Great Lawn, an important work of art will go on view tothe public:
Rashomon
, an installation created by contemporarysculptor
Chuck Ginnever
. Hailed by art critic Kenneth Baker as “oneof the most significant and little-celebrated innovations in late 20thcentury art,”
Rashomon
is organized by the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, California, in cooperation with Gayle Maxon-Edgerton, Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is presented to the public as partof the 2013 season of Montalvo’s
Art on the Grounds
program.“It is an honor to bring
Rashomon
to Montalvo,” said ExecutiveDirector Angela McConnell. “The guiding vision for Art on theGrounds is to orchestrate thought-provoking interactions betweenvisitors and contemporary art in unexpected settings. With thisinstallation, we reaffirm our aim to be one of the Bay Area’s mostengaging sculpture parks.”“As part of our
On the Road 
program—a satellite exhibitions series developed with partner venues throughoutthe Bay Area—we sought a new venue for the
Rashomon
exhibition after it closed at the ICA last month. Iimmediately thought of Montalvo,” said Cathy Kimball, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the ICA. “Thesetting on Montalvo’s Great Lawn is ideal. Ginnever’s ultimate intention was for the work to be presented outof doors.”A contemporary of artists Sir Anthony Caro, John Chamberlain, Mark di Suvero, and Eva Hesse, Chuck Ginnever
ABOVE:
Rashomon
, by Chuck Ginnever, is aninstallation of 15 identical geometric forms.
 
Page 2 of 3
is a prolific and engaging artist known primarily for his large-scale abstract sculpture in welded steel andbronze. Ginnever’s work directly engages with notions of subjectivity and perception, and questions ourpresuppositions about rationality and universal views. As Kenneth Baker has written, “much importantsculpture of our era has concerned itself with tensions between the bodily and mental grasp of the real.
Rashomon
goes to the heart of that matter.”The installation consists of 15 identical geometric forms, each three feet tall, with 15 unique sides and eightbalancing points. Fashioned out of bands of steel, the pieces have been made without right angles or parallellines. They are installed at Montalvo in an organically-shaped grouping.For the viewer, the pleasure of experiencing
Rashomon
is a two-fold exercise in challenged perspective:moving through the installation, shifting vantage points cause one to read forms alternately as two-dimensional shapes with flattened planes, and three-dimensional objects in space. The viewer is furthermorechallenged to weigh the perception of the individual pieces as unique objects against the intellectualknowledge they are exactly identical. Ginnever explains, “my work sits motionless and is only activated by theviewer moving around it—only then does it start to perform.” This inspires slow and deliberate engagementwith the work, and encourages visitors to savor each new moment of uncertainty.The title of the work is borrowed from Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film of the same name in which the mutuallycontradictory testimony of four eyewitnesses to a violent crime demonstrates the inherent unreliability of subjective experience. As John Yau, writing for the web publication
Hyperallergic,
observed, “the gap betweensight and memory—between the object and how we remember it in the mind’s eye—is one of Ginnever’spreoccupations.” According to Kimball, Ginnever’s fascination with shifting perspectives dates back to hischildhood in San Mateo, where, as a boy, he observed the movement of fog banks across the hills. “Thepassage of light and shadow across the landscape impressed upon him at an early age that each individual’sperception of the world is highly personal and always in flux.”This investigation of perspective is especially relevant to
Flourish: Artists Explore Wellbeing,
Montalvo’sprogrammatic theme for 2013-2014. “I am delighted to welcome
Rashomon
on our grounds,” said Kelly Sicat,Director of Montalvo’s Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program. “I believe the experiential nature of Ginnever’s work will engage visitors with wonder as they move through the sculpture hoping to capture itsillusive form. Through that quest to identify the similarities in each perspective, a deeper understanding of thenature of perception, reason, and imagination will be achieved–valuable tools in the pursuit for happiness andwellbeing.”
Rashomon
was originally produced by the artist as a maquette for a monumental 13-foot-high series. To date,

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