On October 16, 1968, during the medal ceremony for the men’s 200-meter race at the Mexico City Olympic Games, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists as a symbolic act of protest. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman stood firmly with Smith and Carlos, displaying his solidarity by wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge during the medal ceremony. The gesture, seen around the world and preserved in images that still resonate today, became a catalytic symbol for myriad beliefs, ideas and social causes.
For Glenn Kaino: 19.83, Los Angeles–based Kaino (b. 1972) presents the New York debut of two works that mark the genesis of his ongoing collaboration with Smith. The exhibition consists of two works: Bridge (2013), in the Museum’s atrium, and 19.83, in the Museum’s project space. Bridge, a site-specific intervention composed of gold-painted casts of Smith’s arm, is a reservoir of memories that reflects on the power of the athletes’ gesture nearly four decades after its occurrence. 19.83, the title of both the work here and the exhibition as a whole, refers to Smith’s world record–breaking time in the 200-meter race, 19.83 seconds. The work is a sculptural environment that takes the form of a three-level platform reminiscent of the one used to honor Olympic medalists. Plated in gold, the reflective and monumental object gives shape to the complexities of memory and brings form to the structures in which narratives are created, transmitted, challenged and remade. Together, these works examine the conditions in which symbolic moments enter history, how these circumstances evolve over time, and how memory and history compete for relevance in the present.
Glenn Kaino: 19.83 is organized by Assistant Curator Naima J. Keith.
Glenn Kaino (b. 1972) lives and works in Los Angeles. His upcoming and recent solo exhibitions include Glenn Kaino, Kavi Gupta Chicago | Berlin (2014); Tank, Prospect3, New Orleans, (2014); Tank, Grand Arts, Kansas City, (2015); Bring Me The Hands of Piri Reis, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles (2012); In Every Grain, U.S. Pavilion, 13th International Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt (2012-); The Space Between, A.Bandit, The Kitchen, New York (2011); Glenn Kaino: Safe | Vanish, LA><ART, Los Angeles (2011); Honor Among Thieves, Performa09, in collaboration with Creative Time, New York (2010); Transformer: The Work of Glenn Kaino, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2008); The Burning Boards, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York (2007); Laws Were Made for Rogues, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2006); and Bounce: Glenn Kaino and Mark Bradford, Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004). Recent group exhibitions include 12th International Biennial de Lyon, Lyon, France (2013); In|Situ, Expo Chicago, Chicago, IL (2013); Role Model-Role Playing, Museum der Moderne Mochsberg, Salzburg, Germany (2011); The Artists’ Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); Blackbelt, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2004); Whitney Biennial 2004, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004), California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, California (2004); and One Planet Under a Groove, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2001). Public collections include Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.