This fall, Contemporary Art Museum will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its critically acclaimed building, designed by renowned architect Brad Cloepfil. The commemorative occasion will begin with new works by local and international artists in an exhibit entitled Place is the Space, as well as feature a talk by Cloepfil during its opening night, Sept. 6. LN recently spoke more about the anniversary festivities and special exhibitions with CAM chief curator Dominic Molon.
Tell us about your yearlong celebration.
I am co-curating the exhibit, Place is the Space (Sept. 6-Dec. 29) with Brad Cloepfil, founding principal of Allied Works Architecture and architect of our CAM building. It will include new installations by five artists and one artist duo. We really wanted to make something that responded to the dynamic or condition of the space.
Talk about the idea behind the exhibit, Place is the Space?
Brad Cloepfil has a great deal of fondness for the CAM building. It is an important work for his career, and it has been very critically well-received and helped make his reputation. So to celebrate the anniversary of the building, he wanted to invite artists to respond to the structure he made.
Describe some of the artwork that will be featured in Place is the Space?
St. Louis native Jill Downen’s work is very much about how art and architecture resemble organic forms. For Place is the Space, her pieces called Beauty Mark will include filling in a long crack in CAM’s concrete floor with gold leaf and the reconstruction of a bulging wall sculpture that she created at the museum in 2004. Additionally, two artists—Carla Arocha and Stephane Schraenen—based in Antwerp, Belgium, will be doing discrete works of art that grow out of the details of the architecture to create these visual effects that play tricks on the eye.
What additional exhibits will be on display this fall?
We are presenting a piece by Anthony McCall, a British artist who started as a filmmaker and uses smoke and light to create geometric forms that exist in space. His work, You and I, Horizontal (II) (Sept. 6-Dec. 29), will be shown in our video gallery in complement to the Place is the Space show. We also will have a new project called Street Views (Oct. 11-Dec. 29) by Jennifer Steinkamp. Her video projections, such as a curtain of undulating flowers, will be projected onto the front of building.
Tell us about the unique upcoming installation, Audible Interruptions.
Audible Interruptions, curated by local sound artist Kevin Harris, will feature sound art pieces installed in the front hallway and restrooms—and may even be expanded to the elevators. One piece is by local poet and artist Jessica Baran and local artist Brett Williams (Sept. 6-Dec. 29). The exhibit really is intended to activate and energize these public spaces—places where you don’t expect to experience art.
How is the CAM experience different from other local art institutions?
You are able to see local artists alongside other artists from all over the world. Also, we really can present a broader range of art from recent history, as well as from the past. Something that really defines CAM is that you get a sense of art history, but also get to see what artists are going for right in the moment.