Glenstone Museum’s Fall Lineup to Include a Major Presentation by Rirkrit Tiravanija and an Installation by Shirin Neshat

June 6, 2019
Four crates containing metallic beer bottles are stacked below a metallic portrait of Mao Zedong in a plywood room.

Louise Bourgeois: To Unravel a Torment, Closing on June 30, Will Become Glenstone’s First Traveling Exhibition

POTOMAC, MD, June 6, 2019 – Glenstone Museum today announced that its new presentations in autumn 2019 will be a mixed-media installation, Fear Eats the Soul, 2011, by the Argentine-born Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, occupying the whole of the Gallery building, and a video installation in the Pavilions, Turbulent, 1998, by the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat. The presentation of these works will mark the completion of Glenstone’s first full year in its expanded space, which opened to the public on October 4, 2018.

“We’re thrilled to begin our second year in the expanded Glenstone by offering the public two major new installations, each radical and astonishing in its own way,” said Emily Wei Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone. “In the sprawling Fear Eats the Soul, our visitors will discover how Rirkrit Tiravanija breaks down barriers—physically, socially, spiritually—to create an art that is smart, democratic, satisfying, and engaging. In Turbulent, visitors will encounter a landmark video work by Shirin Neshat that established her as one of the most powerful artistic voices confronting the situation of women today. With these works coming on view in the fall, and the unveiling today of an extraordinary addition to our outdoor sculptures, Charles Ray’s Horse and rider, Glenstone is offering the public three compelling reasons to come back and enjoy the museum again.”

Opening on September 26 in the Gallery, Glenstone’s original exhibition building, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Fear Eats the Soul is a new presentation of a work the artist first installed in 2011 at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, the New York-based art gallery. It is a major expression of Tiravanija’s practice of blurring the boundaries between art and life, a goal that has led him at times to abandon the art object altogether in favor of creating shared experiences in immersive environments.

The son of a diplomat, Tiravanija was exposed to a variety of cultures and lifestyles early in life and was instilled with a strong commitment to social responsibility. These traits informed an approach to art that melds Eastern and Western sensibilities and often seeks to break through the limitations of conventional gallery spaces. The act of “freeing” a space from its original purpose by removing walls, windows, and doors is one of Tiravanija’s signatures. In the Gallery at Glenstone, abandoned wall frames will be placed inside spaces they might previously have divided, in keeping with Tiravanija’s instinct to invert the expected function of an interior space.

Tiravanija is also known as one of the first artists to expand on Marcel Duchamp’s notion of the “readymade” by treating food as art. The presentation at Glenstone of Fear Eats the Soul will offer a suite of activities with which visitors can engage, including a soup kitchen serving recipes provided by the artist, a silk-screening T-shirt factory, a facsimile of the artist’s first one-person gallery show in New York installed with ceramic sculptures, and the words FEAR EATS THE SOUL spray-painted by Tiravanija directly on a Gallery wall, in characters that will be obscured over time under layers of graffiti by local artists. The presentation is scheduled to be on view through mid-2020.

Fear Eats the Soul will follow Louise Bourgeois: To Unravel a Torment in the Gallery. After the latter exhibition closes on June 30, Glenstone will travel Louise Bourgeois: To Unravel a Torment to the Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, where it will open on October 12. It will be Glenstone’s first traveling exhibition.

Opening in Room 6 of the Pavilions on November 14 will be Turbulent, 1998, the video work that won artist Shirin Neshat the First International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999.

Among the most highly regarded visual artists of her generation, Neshat was born in Qazvin and left Iran in the early 1970s, just before the Islamic Revolution, to study in the United States. She developed her artistic practice through a thoughtful study of the effects of silencing women, particularly in Muslim communities. Her work spans photography, film and performance and often focuses on the female gaze.

In Turbulent, a black-and-white two-screen video installation fills opposing walls, with one screen featuring a male singer performing in front of an all-male audience, and the other showing a female singer performing to an empty auditorium. The juxtaposition serves as a striking reminder of the restrictions placed on women in Iran and the seemingly impenetrable social divisions that persist. Turbulent will be the next work to be installed in Room 6 of the Pavilions, after Ever Is Over All, 1997, by Pipilotti Rist, which will close in October.

Today also marks the most recent unveiling of an outdoor sculpture at Glenstone. Horse and rider, 2014, by Charles Ray is now installed along the main path of the Pavilions, bringing the number of outdoor sculptures throughout the nearly 300-acre landscape to 11. The sculpture complements the four objects by Ray currently on view in Room 8 of the Pavilions. Fabricated in solid stainless steel, the sculpture is more than nine feet tall and portrays the artist himself on horseback. It was previously exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Glenstone

Glenstone, a museum of modern and contemporary art, is integrated into nearly 300 acres of gently rolling pasture and unspoiled woodland in Montgomery County, Maryland, less than 15 miles from the heart of Washington, DC. Established by the not-for-profit Glenstone Foundation, the museum opened in 2006 and provides a contemplative, intimate setting for experiencing iconic works of art and architecture within a natural environment.

Glenstone is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are also invited to explore the grounds or participate in self-guided sculpture tours from 12 to 4 pm, when guides are present.   Admission to Glenstone is free and visits can be scheduled online at: Same-day visits can be scheduled using the website or a smartphone.

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