Christopher Grimes Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work by acclaimed photographer, historian and social activist Allan Sekula. This series will be in direct dialogue with work to be exhibited at Documenta 12 from June 16 – September 23, 2007 in Kassel, Germany.
Shipwreck and Workers for Documenta 12 will include photographs of a midwife, a mother with her newborn child, gravediggers and goldsmiths. The work will be installed outdoors on the Palace Wilhelmshoehe, flanking a baroque water cascade that flows down from an early eighteenth-century statue of Hercules, guardian hero of the city. The first version of this series was exhibited in 2005 as a set of large outdoor photographs in Vienna at the Chamber of Labor, and then as an expanded version of the work in Belgium at the STUK Kunstcentrum, also in 2005. Christopher Grimes Gallery will exhibit photographs presented in Documenta 12 as well as a few works from earlier versions of the series.
The South Gallery will feature a new video work by Sekula entitled A Short Film for Laos. In 2006, Sekula felt compelled as an American citizen to visit Laos and document the ways aerial bombardment by the United States during the Vietnam War had altered the country. Following merchants, blacksmiths and bricklayers, Sekula shows that “in Laos, the guiding spirit of the forge is a scavenger, picking up after the demons of war.”
Sekula has recently exhibited at the Whitney Museum in New York as part of their show Full House: Views of the Whitney’s Collection at 75. Vienna’s Generali Foundation organized a comprehensive retrospective of Sekula’s work in 2003 and he was featured at The National Museum, Zadar, Croatia. Sekula participated in Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, 2002. Additionally, he has shown at the Whitney Biennial (1993); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Barbican Centre, London; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.
Sekula's work is included in the collections of the Thyssen-Bornesmisza Art Contemporary in Vienna; the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MACBA, Barcelona; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece and the ARCO foundation, Madrid, Spain among others.