Exhibitions: Raw/Cooked: Michael Ballou

Michael Ballou: Work in Progress

Michael Ballou (American, b. 1952). Work in Progress, 2013. © Michael Ballou. Photo by Pierce Jackson

April 12–July 7, 2013

The eighth exhibition in the Raw/Cooked series presents the work of Williamsburg’s Michael Ballou. A multimedia artist whose practice incorporates sculpture, performance, and collaboration, Ballou has altered three spaces in the Brooklyn Museum with site-specific installations. Connecting them is his interest in the appearance, behavior, and inner lives of animals. Spilling out of a large-scale vitrine in the fourth-floor Decorative Arts galleries, Ballou’s Dog Years is a monumental construction of over sixty dog head sculptures, modeled on animals of his acquaintance. Go-Go, a light and sound installation, enlivens the fifth-floor elevator lobby with a mobile puppet suspended from the ceiling, ambient music, and the play of projected light and shadows on the walls. Collaborative project Pencil Holders was conceived in response to the Museum’s Luce Visible Storage ▪ Study Center. Drawn to the Center’s encyclopedic holdings, which evoke a cabinet of curiosities, Ballou added several of his ceramic sculptures to a shelf. They’re accompanied by fictional texts created by six authors invited to respond to Luce’s holdings, accessible by QR code. The authors include Stephanie Barber, David Brody, James Hannaham, Kurt Hoffman, Helen Phillips, and Matthew Sharpe. The fictional Pencil Holders text can also be found at www.pencil-holders.org.

The second season of Raw/Cooked presents a series of four exhibitions by under-the-radar Brooklyn artists who have been invited by the Museum, with support from Bloomberg, to show their first major museum exhibitions. The artists are given the opportunity to work with the Museum’s collections and to display in spaces of their choosing, however unconventional.

The four artists in the series were recommended by an advisory board of well-known Brooklyn artists. Museum curator Eugenie Tsai made the final selections. Michael Ballou was recommended by Amy Sillman.

Raw/Cooked is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

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Read more about Raw/Cooked.


Michael Ballou talks about his Raw/Cooked exhibition.