Animal Farm meets Alice Walton’s museum
If you go down to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in a fortnight’s time, you’ll be able to try out as an understudy for a Napoleonic role. An interactive work inspired by George Orwell’s fable of totalitarianism called Understudy for Animal Farm will be one of the participatory works in the survey show “State of the Art” (13 September-19 January 2015) organised by the museum founded by Walmart heiress, Alice Walton. The Santa Fe-based, Brazilian-born artist Ligia Bouton’s installation invites visitors to choose among the bright and folksy pig’s head hoods, which are made of bed linen, and then pose in front of backdrop of rolling Cornish countryside and a five-bar gate to have their photo taken. There is a sinister twist, however. “As the pigs begin to walk upright and move into the deserted farmhouse, it is the wool plaid and floral chintz of rural England that indicate the pigs’ authority,” Bouton explains in an artist’s statement. “In this way, Orwell creates an unexpected friction between the menacing force of the pigs’ tyrannical rule and the mundane, domestic sphere.” Four legs good, two legs better, as the dystopian slogan goes.
Gallery takes to the streets, visitors in tow
The street-art gallery Choque Cultural has launched a new project space, Choque-Centro, in old downtown São Paulo. “The area was run down until a few years ago, but now lots of innovative art spaces are blooming,” says Baixo Ribeiro, the gallery’s co-founder. This month, Choque-Centro is offering curator- and artist-guided walking tours, including visits to an installation by Mariana Martins at the Lâmina art space and to Studio Cúpula. “Both places have new approaches to art and the public experience, proposing fusions over food and drink, pocket shows and performances beyond the conventional,” Ribeiro says. J.H.