Sculpture Journal

Shade Between Rings of Air: architecture, sculpture, replication: Carlo Scarpa/Gabriel Orozco, 1952/2003

Sculpture Journal (2016), 25, (3), 401–419.

Abstract

In 2003, Gabriel Orozco’s sculpture Shade Between Rings of Air was exhibited at the Venice Biennial. The work was a replica of La Pensilina (1952), a pergola by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. Scarpa’s construction was part of his Sculpture Garden situated in the inner courtyard of the Italian Pavilion. Orozco’s Shade Between Rings of Air was fabricated in birchwood and placed in an interior space, in contrast to Scarpa’s exterior concrete structure. Orozco’s work was subsequently exhibited in diverse contexts, raising issues about site-specificity, cultural memory, and the dialectical relation between architecture and sculpture. This article explores how Orozco’s work negotiates ideas related to architectural sculpture (and sculptural architecture), particularly the role of the replica and its spatiotemporal relation to the original, and examines how the artist internalizes aspects of modernist architecture and its aspirations to recast his identity as a sculptor at the turn of the twenty-first century.

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Author details

Adamou, Natasha