Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ann Hamilton, Artist

The United States Pavilion
48th Venice Biennale 1999
Venice, Italy
June 13, 1999-November 7, 1999

The word myein is an ancient Greek verb meaning "to close the eyes or mouth." Linked to the initiation rites enacted in medieval cults, the closing of the eyes or mouth refers to the secret status surrounding their rites. Across time, myein has come to stand for that thing which has not been, or cannot be, explained.

Hamilton's interest in the temple form as an idealized image projected onto civic space led her to engage the neo- classical building of the United States pavilion as both subject and object of the project. It was a meditation on aspects of American social history that, like weather, are present and pervasive in effect but which remain invisible or unspoken. Her self-given task was to make a place in which this absence could be palpably felt and to create a space simultaneously empty and full.

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