The Breeder presents Allyson Vieira’ s first solo exhibition in Greece, “Time and Materials (and Overhead)”. Vieira will exhibit a new body of work that includes sculptures and video created during her summer residence in Athens organized by the gallery.
The ancient world permeates Allyson Vieira’s work. Over the past seven years, she has explored archeological sites throughout Greece. Monuments and building foundations in situ reveal consecutive layers of original labor and millenia of constructions, destructions, and restorations: here, present and past human industry coexist.
In her sculptures Vieira employs mundane, contemporary construction materials like bricks, concrete, metal, glass and plaster. It is these materials that the archaelogist of the future will encounter in the ruins of the 21st century’s building booms and busts. Vieira’s work functions as a tangible preview of this future.
The exhibition’s title, “Time and Materials (and Overhead)”, is a common type of construction contract which requires payment on exactly these terms: the cost of time (labor-hours) and of materials the two basic necessities for physical creation of any kind. Overhead is the extra costs to the builder, difficult to quantify but present nonetheless. In conflating sculptural production with the economics of construction under these contractual terms, Vieira unites the manual labor of architecture and sculpture within the long timeline of human material creation, while alluding to the economic links between labor and objects large and small, quotidien and symbolic.
Multi Story I, II, and III occupy the front of the ground floor. In each work, two posts of carved, stacked Ytong blocks support and are supported by sheets of tempered, mirrored glass. Each block in the posts is carved in an abstracted figural form bearing architectural weight. The two-way glass above and below the posts reflects the carved blocks into infinity while still allowing a view through the glass to the real architecture of the gallery beyond.
Beyond the sculptures, Vieira explores site and symbolic architecture across eras with a double video projection that stretches the full height of the back wall. The top video is a fixed shot of the construction of the new European Central Bank tower in Frankfurt. Beneath it is projected an inverted video of the restoration of the Parthenon. One video stretches up while the other extends downward, sharing a common ground line, as if false reflections.
Leaning against the walls of the basement of the gallery are Clad (Multi Story) I-X, part of an ongoing series by the artist. Resembling antique stelae, decorative reliefs or even geological sediments, these works can also be seen as minimalist sculptures akin to John McCracken’s monolithic slabs. Made from a carved amalgam of plaster and the material waste from other sculptures under construction at the time of their making, they also function as a chaotic, chthonic index of Vieira’s manufacturing process. Here, they lean on and around the support beams of the architecture of the gallery, like geological figures in repose.
The dimensions of Vieira’s Clads and Multi Story I-III are determined by a combination of the artist’s own body size and the standard dimensions and divisions of construction materials. By syncretizing her own proportions with those of the raw materials Vieira creates a metric relationship among the elements of the show, drolly embodying Protagoras’ statement that «man is the measure of all things».
Allyson Vieira (1979, USA) lives and works in New York and is a graduate of The Cooper Union and Bard College in New York. Selected solo exhibitions include “The Plural Present” at Swiss Institute, New York (2013), “The Plural Present” at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2013), “Build On, Build Against”, with Stephen Ellis at Non Objectif Sud, Tulette, France (2013), and «Cortège» at Laurel Gitlen, New York (2013). Selected group exhibitions include “Future Generation Art Prize”, Pinchuk Foundation, Kiev, Ukraine (October 2014), “Remainder” Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK, curated by Lauren Ross (2013), “Configurations”, MetroTech Center Commons, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Andrea Hickey (2012), “Lilliput” at the Highline, New York, curated by Cecilia Alemani (2012), “Knight’s Move”, at Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY, curated by Fionn Meade (2010).