Menu

  • Art
  • Lifestyle
  • Fashion
  • Design
  • Sustainability
  • Homepage
  • Whitewall Presents
  • Whitewaller
  • Insiders

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe to the Magazine

Presents

Atlanta

Derrick Adams: Patrick Kelly, The Journey

Newsletter

Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Ok
On view at Park Avenue Armory
Semptenber 13-25, 2016
Photo by Naho Kubota
Taryn Simon
On view at Park Avenue Armory
Art

Taryn Simon’s “An Occupation of Loss” at the Park Avenue Armory

By Charlotte Boutboul

September 15, 2016

Artist Taryn Simon premiered earlier this week a monumental installation that explores rituals of grief and mourning through sculpture, sound, architecture, and performance. The large-scale structure of inverted wells functioning as a discordant instrument, will be on view till September 25.

Entitled An Occupation of Loss, this new work made for the Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall was co-commissioned by the Armory and Artangel, London. A conceptual artist working primarily with image and text, Simon is breaking form with her first-ever directed performance with a monumental sculptural setting, in which she considers the anatomy of grief and the intricate systems that we devise to contend with the irrationality of the universe.

Open Gallery

On view at Park Avenue Armory

“The abstract space that grief generates is marked by an absence of language. Individuals and communities can be transformed, redefined, reprogrammed. Results are unpredictable—the void that loss creates can be filled by religion, nihilism, militancy, benevolence. (…) Visually and sonically, I kept gravitating toward the form of a well, but I wanted it to be super-terrestrial and have height instead of depth while retaining the echo, the reflection, and the vertigo,” Simon said.

Each evening, more than 30 professional mourners from many parts of the globe activate the installation of 11 concrete pipes, each measuring 48 feet in height, designed by the artist in collaboration with architecture firm OMA/ Shohei Shigematsu.

Open Gallery

Semptenber 13-25, 2016

Like Zoroastrian “towers of silence,” the installation makes explicit the never-ending human need to give structure to death in order to understand it. Within each towering structure, the mourners enact rituals of grief that resound throughout the vast drill hall. These rituals are orchestrated by the collective presence, absence, and movement of the audience within the installation. Each performance unfolds from a convergence of unique and unrepeatable factors. The mourners’ recitations of tuneful, textual weeping include: Albanian laments, excavating “uncried words;” Venezuelan laments, safeguarding the soul’s passage to the Milky Way; Greek laments, binding the story of life with afterlife in polyphonic poetics; and Yezidi laments, mapping a topography of exile. The professional status of these mourners—performing away and apart from their usual contexts—underscores the tension between authentic and staged emotion, spontaneity and script.

Open Gallery

Photo by Naho Kubota

An Occupation of Loss will be followingly presented by Artangel in London next year.

Open Gallery

Taryn Simon
An Occupation of LossArtangelOMA/ Shohei ShigematsuPark Avenue ArmoryTaryn SimonWade Thompson Drill Hall

Recommended

Art |January 21, 2021

The Virtual Edition of The Winter Show 2021

Our ValuesContactAdvertiseTerms
© Whitewall 2020

Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Subscribe to the Newsletter