Exhibition Location: Second Floor Gallery
Since 1998, New York-based Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin have been artistic collaborators under the moniker Type A. So named for their interest in competition and assertiveness, Ames and Bordwin have produced a body of performance, video, and photographic work that explores the physical and psychological dimensions of male competition and collaboration. In recent years, they have expanded their interests to the changing nature of public space as a result of this same male competition in the form of a growing, post-9/11 security culture: aggression posing as protection.
For PLATFORM 4, Type A presents Barrier, an installation of identical, concrete sculptures of curved Jersey barriers—most commonly used in their straight form as highway dividers—and an accompanying set of photographs and sculpture. Barrier snakes around deCordova's Museum Entrance Plaza doing what Jersey barriers do best: redirecting traffic and reformatting space. They also do what Jersey barriers have been called on to do in recent years: block and protect public spaces and entrances.
The photographs, from the Insertions series, feature the artists hidden in public, urban spaces, as if oppressed or crushed by these heavy structures that have since become markers of the increased militarization of New York City in the wake of 9/11. In a playful twist, the artists have also translated the NYPD's and Department of Homeland Security's official shooting target into a glowing red neon sign, asking who, exactly, our government is targeting. In their photographs and sculptures, Type A injects a dark humor into familiar objects, images, and places to question our cultural desire to "protect and defend."
Barrier is a collaboration between deCordova, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT and the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, where Barrier will be on view in three very different configurations over the course of two and a half years. DeCordova is the second venue in this exhibition cycle.
The 2009-2010 PLATFORM series is funded in part by James and Audrey Foster.