Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
30 November, 2008 - 1 February, 2009
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
21 October, 2009 - 28 March, 2010
With the inauguration of the Deutsche Guggenheim in 1997, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank launched a unique and ambitious program of contemporary art commissions that has enabled the Guggenheim to act as a catalyst for artistic production. Anish Kapoor: Memory is the fourteenth commission project to be completed since the program’s inception and is the Guggenheim’s first collaboration with Anish Kapoor, an artist celebrated for his expansive vision and profound aesthetics.
Memory (2008) is a site-specific work that was conceived to engage two different exhibition locations at the Guggenheim museums in Berlin and New York. Utilizing Cor-Ten steel for the first time, the sculpture represents a milestone in Kapoor’s career. Memory's thin steel skin, only eight millimeters thick, suggests a form that is ephemeral and unmonumental. The sculpture appears to defy gravity as it gently glances against the periphery of the gallery walls and ceiling. However, as a 24-ton volume, Memory is also raw, industrial, and foreboding. Positioned tightly within the gallery, Memory is never fully visible; instead the work fractures and divides the gallery into several distinct viewing areas. The division compels visitors to navigate the museum, searching for vantage points that offer only glimpses of the sculpture. This processional method of viewing Memory is an intrinsic aspect of the work. Visitors are asked to contemplate the ensuing fragmentation by attempting to piece together images retained in their minds, exerting effort in the act of seeing-a process Kapoor describes as creating a “mental sculpture.”
Text by Sandhini Poddar.