Taking its title from Alberto Giacometti’s surrealist sculptures, this building-wide exhibition explores themes of desire and repulsion, the familiar and the unfamiliar. In the wake of war, industrial revolution, economic collapse, and political unrest, the surrealists sought to renegotiate and challenge traditional relationships between sexuality, the subconscious and commodity culture. Under these conditions, they used the uncanny and the informe to subversive ends.
Almost a century later, artists are still struggling with economic crises, rapid technological advancement, and war. World-historical traumas might be more mediated today, but we continue to live in “interesting times.” In recent decades, the animating principles of work, war and daily life have shifted from the physical to the cerebral, from machines to information. As capitalist societies extend beyond traditional notions of labor, the definitions of and divisions between the self, work and product are blurred. How have developments in technology shifted our understanding of the body and sexuality? How do these current conditions affect our understanding of informe or the uncanny? How does urbanization relate to our notions of selfhood and domestic space? These are the questions that the artists in the exhibition ask or address.
A Disagreeable Object features work by Alisa Baremboym, Alexandra Bircken, Ian Cheng, Talia Chetrit, Martin Soto Climent, FOS, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Camille Henrot, Alicja Kwade, Charles Long, Sarah Lucas, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Laura Riboli, Matthew Ronay, Pamela Rosenkranz, Michael E. Smith, Johannes VanDerBeek, Andro Wekua, Susanne M. Winterling, and Anicka Yi. The exhibition is curated by Ruba Katrib, SculptureCenter Curator.