The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the second part of a new commission in 2015 with Canadian artist Shannon Bool. Bool typically references a wide variety of art historical objects in her work, commenting on the role of decorative arts within art history, as well as on the change in meaning that occurs through the replication and alteration of significant cultural forms. Central to her practice is the paradoxical examination of the depth and psychological weight that surfaces carry, which she underlines in unorthodox material processes.
Located near to the gallery entrance is Michelangelo’s Place, the final version in a series of carrara marble benches Bool has recently produced. The sculpture references the benches found circling the elevated Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, built in 1869 to showcase copies of Michelangelo’s most famous works and to provide a panoramic view of the city.
At the Contemporary Art Gallery, Bool’s sculpture references the benches’ scale and appropriates the graffiti that covers them. The graffiti, some of which is over 100 years old and ranges from tourist scribbles, love declarations and Italy’s first Labour Party, is mirrored to emphasize its materialization and the artist’s handwork. These energetic gestures of incision, gouging and defacing subvert the benches’ functionality by drawing attention to the individual experiences of the Piazzale’s visitors who chose to leave their own marks instead of consuming the magnificent views of the renaissance. The carrara marble, signifying wealth and high renaissance material values is subjected instead to the everyday banality of Florentine life and tourism, where the public turns away from its master narrative and carves its own signature.
Shannon Bool lives and works in Berlin. Solo exhibitions include: The Fourth Wall Through the Third Eye, Galerie Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf; Walk Like an Etruscan, Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto (2013); The Inverted Harem II, Bonner Kunstverein, Germany (2011); CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France; The Inverted Harem, GAK-Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen , Germany (2010); RMIT Project Space, Melbourne (2008). Group exhibitions include MMK2 Boom She Boom, Works from the MMK Collection, Frankfurt (2015); The Klöntal Triennale, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (2014); Soft Pictures, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaugengo, Turin, Italy (2013); Painting Forever!, KW, Berlin (2013); Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto (2013); the Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2012); 7×14, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Rock Opera, CACP Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux (2009); Drawing on Sculpture: Graphic Interventions on the Photographic Surface, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2007); Make Your Move, Projects Arts Centre, Dublin; Spiralen der Erinnerung, Kunstverein in Hamburg; Carbonic Anhydride, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin (2006). Work is held in the collections of The National Gallery of Canada, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Fondazione Sandretto, Turin, MMK Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main; Lenbachhaus, Munich, and the Saatchi Collection, London. She is represented by Kadel Willborn Gallery in Düsseldorf and Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto.