This exhibition draws attention to the late-1960s film and media installations of Argentinean artist David Lamelas (b. Buenos Aires, 1946) at a moment when they can speak with renewed urgency. Exhibiting Mediality reconstructs and recontextualizes a seminal work from this period to address the conditions under which images are produced and decoded; to consider what it means to exhibit not the image, but mediation. The concept of exhibiting pure mediality/mediation is further explored through collaborations with the University Archive and Records Center, and the Department of English and Film Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and International House, Philadelphia. This exhibition is organized by ICA’s 2003-2004 Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Tanya Leighton.
David Lamelas is a pioneer of the radical repositioning of sculpture in the sixties and seventies that abandoned traditional definitions of sculpture, displacing its materials and modes of production. In doing so a redefinition of the status of art and its “sites of display” took place. Situated within an emerging aesthetic of institutional critique (that addressed conditions of spectator behavior as forms of social experience within the public institution of art), and opposed to the false neutrality of minimalist sculpture, Lamelas’ sought to analyze art as a means of communication, relating it to how information was conveyed by the film and television industry, and to the discourses around public space and media technology. In light of current discussions on the relationship between cinema, art, the media, and politics, his work re-presented thirty years later has lost none of its relevance.