Continuing through July 14, 2012
Spectacle is what drives Cai Guo-Qiang's work. He is involved with a laborious process in which numerous volunteers help to stencil canvases with gun power which is then ignited in front of a large audience and videotaped. His exhibitions (including the present one, "Sky Ladder") often consist of video documentation of these events as well as the remnants of the explosions, which he presents as his drawings. Here there is a large scale work on the outside facade of the building as well as extensive video documentation of its creation inside. Cai Guo-Qiang's work melds aesthetics and politics in the soft sense that it is more about community than a solo studio practice.
"Sky Ladder" includes drawings that cover the museum's walls in addition to "Crop Circles," in which thousands of reeds are attached to plywood boards and hung overhead. Viewers walk beneath and look up at the work, which is meant to resemble seeing crop circles from the sky. Because it is large, bold and charged with content and participation Cai Guo-Qiang's work has caused a sensation wherever it is shown. That it is limited to half rather than occupying the whole museum therefore comes as the one disappointment.
Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2012