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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See 20 Sep 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Doug Aitken

b. 1968, USA

The practice of Doug Aitken is most widely recognised as immersive, collaborative and engaged with both the art world and the wider world. This approach results in works in a variety of media such as video, sculpture and photography.

Aitken is perhaps best known for his 'nomadic happening', Station to Station (2013) in which he invited artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Patti Smith and Urs Fischer, amongst others, to participate in a cross-country nine-carriage train ride from New York to California, spontaneously collaborating to create art, food and music along the way. There were nine stops, and a 'happening' (an art-related performance event) occurred at each stop. The train was covered in LED screens; along the way a visual light installation continuously played. The project was intended as an alternative art experience. Instead of being held in a gallery or institution, the art travelled, grew and became a presence in every moment of the artist's life. In 2015, this event recreated itself at the Barbican Centre in the form of Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening. Described as a 'living exhibition', over its month-long existence it played host to more than 100 contemporary artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and designers.

In late 2016, during his solo exhibition Doug Aitken: Electric Earth (10 September 2016–15 January 2017) at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Aitken installed Underwater Pavilions off the coast of Catalina Island, California. Underwater Pavilions consisted of three hexagon-shaped spheres submerged between five and 50 feet underwater. Viewers had to dive to view the work and could swim both in and around the spheres. The spheres contained panels sculpted from artificial rock and mirror. The mirrored surfaces induced a kaleidoscopic effect; in an interview with The New York Times Aitken remarked on the experience of this effect, 'I could see the ocean floor above me and the sun below me'. The objects' shiny and multifarious surfaces cause them to seem continuously in flux—affected by tides, sunlight, sun, fish and divers. Rather than sculptures or monuments, they are living things. The work is based on Aitken's philosophy that to make art living, one should immerse it in the real world and allow it to experience the flux of nature.

In 2017, Aitken participated in Desert X—the art biennial of Palm Springs, California, featuring 16 artists including Gabriel Kuri, Claudia Comte and Armando Lerma. For the event, Aitken created Mirage—a ranch-style home in Coachella Valley covered on every surface by mirrors. The ranch style of architecture was developed in the 1920s and 1930s by combining Frank Lloyd Wright's modernist architecture and traditional western ranches. After World War II, the style boomed and became a fixture of the Californian landscape. By turning the quintessential Californian architecture into a house of mirrors, Mirage may change with its surrounding nature—blending in but perhaps standing out even more so in the process. In the struggle between the natural and the artificial, the house plays on both sides. Aitken works with the materiality of the suburban west, illustrating the vast power of the landscape and the history of architecture's attempted encroachment upon it.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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inflection by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug Aitkeninflection, 1992 Single-channel video (colour, silent); 14 min 2 sec
303 Gallery
Inside me by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenInside me, 2018 Aluminium, high density foam, resin, auto paint, acrylic mirror, variation of 4
143.5 x 161.3 x 104.1 cm
303 Gallery
NIGHT by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenNIGHT, 2017 Aluminium, polished stainless steel, paint, high-density foam
80.6 x 252.7 x 43.2 cm
303 Gallery
HEAT by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenHEAT, 2019 Foam, epoxy, screen print
152.4 x 152.4 x 25.4 cm
303 Gallery
Midnight Sun (distant view with pools) by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenMidnight Sun (distant view with pools), 2019 Chromogenic transparency on acrylic in aluminium lightbox with LEDs
172.7 x 317.5 x 17.8 cm
303 Gallery
Fruit bowl (Orange and Highway) by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenFruit bowl (Orange and Highway), 2018 Chromogenic transparency on acrylic in aluminium lightbox with LEDs
141 x 135.3 x 17.8 cm
303 Gallery
Sonic Table (Green Onyx Sound Table) by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenSonic Table (Green Onyx Sound Table), 2011–2013 Wooden frame, green Onyx top
76.2 x 234.3 x 100.3 cm
303 Gallery
Untitled (sleeping woman) by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenUntitled (sleeping woman), 2018 Chromogenic transparency on acrylic in aluminium lightbox with LEDs
108 x 460.4 x 17.8 cm
303 Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 303 Gallery: 35 Years at 303 Gallery, New York
Closed
18 July–16 August 2019 Group Exhibition 303 Gallery: 35 Years 303 Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Doug Aitken, New Era at 303 Gallery, New York
Closed
13 April–25 May 2018 Doug Aitken New Era 303 Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Protest at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
23 September–5 November 2016 Group Exhibition Protest Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Ocula Conversation Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Founder, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo started collecting contemporary art in 1992, after graduating from Torino University, where she studied business and economics. She began her collection with four works from the late-1950s and early-1960s by Italian artists: Carla Accardi, Tano Festa, Mario Merz and Salvatore Scarpitta. 'I enjoyed the idea of...

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The Lowdown: shows to see during Frieze week Ocula Report The Lowdown: shows to see during Frieze week 27 Apr 2018 : Robert Ayers for Ocula

With Frieze New York returning to Randall's Island Park from 4 to 6 May 2018, Ocula is on hand to offer a selection of exhibitions around the city, from Bushwick and the LES to Chelsea, Midtown and the Upper East Side.Exhibition view: Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s, Neue Galerie New York (8 March–28 May 2018). Courtesy Neue...

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In Related Press

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Doug Aitken takes the scenic route across Massachusetts with mirrored hot air balloon Related Press Doug Aitken takes the scenic route across Massachusetts with mirrored hot air balloon Wallpaper* : 18 July 2019

For two weeks in July, a mirrored sphere is taking flight above the eastern US coastline and western Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Reflecting back the sun, clouds, and natural surroundings, the nomadic piece of public art is Doug Aitken's response to many of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts protected by The Trustees of...

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Fluxus in the air: Doug Aitken's hot air balloon sails above Massachusetts Related Press Fluxus in the air: Doug Aitken's hot air balloon sails above Massachusetts The Art Newspaper : 11 July 2019

The project, called New Horizon, lifts off on 12 July at Long Point beach on Martha's Vineyard. Over the following 16 days, it will alight at the Farm Institute in Edgartown, the Holmes Reservation in Plymouth, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, the Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, the Naumkeag in Stockbridge and the...

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Preview Art Basel 2019 Related Press Preview Art Basel 2019 ARTnews : 7 June 2019

Art Basel 2019 opens to the public on Thursday, June 13, with two preview days, on June 11 and 12. Some 290 galleries from 34 countries will show work at the Swiss fair, which runs through June 16.

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Artist Doug Aitken takes to the air, in a reflective mood Related Press Artist Doug Aitken takes to the air, in a reflective mood Boston Globe : 16 May 2019

You can think of New Horizon, his mobile project to be presented in July by the Trustees—the recently streamlined moniker of the Trustees of Reservations—as something of a remedy. It’s a mirror-sheen hot-air balloon traveling dozens of miles from one Trustees property to the next across Massachusetts. Wherever it touches down, it becomes the...

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In Video & Audio

Doug Aitken at Victoria Miro Mayfair Related Video & Audio Doug Aitken at Victoria Miro Mayfair 10 June 2015

This specific constellation of five key works has been conceived for Victoria Miro Mayfair by Doug Aitken and deals with contemporary ideas of time through the use of sound, touch, light and reflectivity, with each work existing in a zone between abstraction and representation. At the core of the exhibition is Eyes closed, wide awake...

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