Sightings: Bettina Pousttchi
April 12, 2014 - August 17, 2014
Continuing the Sightings series of installations and interventions, the Nasher Sculpture Center presented the first American museum exhibition of German-Iranian artist, Bettina Pousttchi from April 12, 2014 through July 13, 2014.
Drive Thru Museum
transformed one of the galleries into a closed urban streetscape and expanded on the relationship between photography, sculpture, and architecture to create a unique environment, drawing on the history of Dallas and the Nasher Sculpture Center site.
For the past 15 years, Pousttchi has created artworks in a variety of media, including photography, video, and sculpture. These works examined the constructed nature and tenuousness of memory. In projects like Echo (2009-10) at the Temporare Kunsthalle in Berlin and Framework (2011) at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Pousttchi presented photography at the scale of architecture, lending it a sense of monumentality and presence normally associated with large-scale sculpture.
For her exhibition at the Nasher, Pousttchi expanded on the relationship between photography, sculpture, and architecture to create a unique environment that drew on the history of the Nasher Sculpture Center site. The artist transformed one of the upstairs galleries into a closed urban streetscape, recalling the gasoline service stations and parking lots that formerly occupied the Nasher location dating back to when Ross Avenue was known as “Automobile Row” in the middle of the 20th century. The floor of the gallery was “blacktopped” and painted to resemble a street, creating a “drive thru” art gallery for selected works from the Nasher Collection. A photographic pattern reminiscent of expanding scissor gates, used to protect storefronts and automobile repair shops, was applied to the glass facades of the gallery, obscuring views into and out of the space. In addition, several of Pousttchi’s sculptures, made from police barricades and street bollards, occupied the spaces surrounding the gallery.
Born in Mainz, Germany in 1971, Pousttchi studied with artists Rosemarie Trockel and Gerhard Merz at the esteemed Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and participated in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum in New York in the 1990s. Since 1997, she has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2009, the Kunsthalle Basel in 2011, and the major projects mentioned above.