Unpacking Double Monuments, Part 1

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Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenovic and Bettina Pousttchi with the artist’s Double Monuments. Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Artists Bettina Pousttchi, Vladimir Tatlin, and Dan Flavin each present complex, layered art that reflects on the past and the present. Their work captures the attention of the viewer and reveals the ambitions of each artist.

In 1920s Russia, the Constructivist sculptor-architect Vladimir Tatlin led a government program to replace tsarist-era monuments with new public celebrations of the recently established regime and this new period in Russian history. Tatlin’s ideas for the nation’s new artistic practices favored abstraction over figurative representations of revolution heroes, and he proposed the Monument to the Third International, a soaring structure of iron and glass, two modern materials meant to emphasize the modernity of the Soviet nation. Russia was by no means an industrialized nation at the time; when a wooden model of the structure was paraded through the streets it was on a horse-drawn wagon. This model represented the aspirations and hopes for post-revolution Russia.

Tatlin’s monument was intended to be a celebration of the revolution and new communist regime as well as the headquarters of the Third International, known as the International Organization of Communist Parties or the Comintern. The building focused on the collective and the glass was meant to symbolically represent the transparency of the Third International. This structure, representing ingenuity and modernity, was never built.

This is a multi-part blog post; check back next week for Part 2.

Emma Kennedy, Marketing & Communications Intern

 

Views From Phillips after 5

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A visitor interacts with artist Dan Steinhilber’s Interface artworks. Photo: Instagram/heidinotklum

Last week’s All That Jazz Phillips after 5 was action-packed! Here are some of our favorite visitor photos from the activities all over the museum, including craft cocktails, tours, jazz from The Pete Muldoon Sextet, and a one-night-only interactive exhibition by DC-based artist Dan Steinhilber.

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Visitors interact with Dan Steinhilber’s Interface artworks. (Left) Photo: Instagram/etxeco (right) Photo: Instagram/conniepaik

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A beautiful evening to enjoy the Phillips’s courtyard. (Left) Photo: Instagram/rebleber (right) Photo: Instagram/ksnahyun

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Instagrammer @nataliemueller3 on Dan Steinhilber’s participatory work at Phillips after 5: “A fun, interactive take on the disconnect from the talking heads of DC and the digital world and the moving body”

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(Left) @cocktailsandcraft shares the view from The Jazzy Mule: scotch, elderflower liqueur, bitters, ginger beer, lime (right) Instagrammer @dnl340 captures The Pete Muldoon Sextet in action

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The view from inside Dan Steinhilber’s interactive artworks. (Left) Photo: Instagram/hprlhoda (right) Photo: Instagram/christine60605

Inflating a Chat Room: Dan Steinhilber’s Interactive Artwork

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Artist Dan Steinhilber sets up interactive work “Interface” for Phillips after 5 on June 2. Photos: Amy Wike

In preparation for tonight’s Phillips after 5, DC-based artist Dan Steinhilber visited the museum yesterday to test out his interactive Interface artwork in the galleries. Steinhilber’s work, which was recently featured at G Fine Art, invites visitors to enter into the piece and create a unique experience for themselves and other participants. Comprising five inflatable, bag-like sculptures (made from plastic stretch wrap, wood, and computer fans), Interface is a riff on our addiction to the Internet, instant yet remote communication, and virtual reality. The wearable aspect of these works­—visitors insert their “talking-heads” inside the sculptures while their hands remain outside—offers an estranged and disembodied experience.

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Artist Dan Steinhilber sets up interactive work “Interface” for Phillips after 5 on June 2

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Steinhilber placed works around the gallery before inflating and adjusting

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Artist Dan Steinhilber sets up interactive work “Interface” for Phillips after 5 on June 2

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“Untitled Mobile Interface Site (Conversation Pillow),” 2016, rests against a gallery wall

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Steinhilber inside “Untitled Mobile Interface Site (Chat Room),” 2016

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Artist Dan Steinhilber sets up interactive work “Interface” for Phillips after 5 on June 2