We melted The American Dream during the Republican and Democratic conventions. This enormous sculpture in ice weighing over 4,000 pounds disappeared in less than 6 hours highlighting the erosion of opportunity and social equality. Melting one of the central tenets of postwar America suspends disbelief. As the sculpture wept through its transformation, the action compelled people to bear witness to ideas and concepts they may only subconsciously feel.
The installations in Cleveland and Philadelphia further expand our work in developing and integrating public sculpture with social actions, using digital media to amplify its meaning and message.
In this immaterial age, the medium of ice seems like the perfect material for sculpting the impact of seemingly invisible, yet strongly felt forces at the beginning of the 21st century. We embrace this idea creating ice sculptures, which we call “temporary monuments.”
The impact of politics cannot be divorced from culture or art any more than the impact of art or culture can be divorced from politics. We develop artworks to further public discourse about civic and socio-political issues — inviting the viewer to participate in their work. Our installations provoke conversation, engaging the public to question the world in which they live.
We install site-specific sculptures carved in ice on location during national events in the United States imbuing the sculptures with the political theater of the moment. In 2008, we unveiled large ice sculptures of the word Democracy at the political conventions in Denver and St. Paul. On the 79th anniversary of the Great Depression, we erected an ice sculpture of the word Economy in front of the New York State Supreme Court in Foley Square. And in 2012 we installed the word Middle Class at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, respectively.
Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese have collaborated together as the artistic duo LigoranoReese since the early 1980s. Their work is an ongoing investigation into the impact of technology on society and the rhetoric of politics and visual culture in the media. LigoranoReese's body of work is multidisciplinary and includes limited edition multiples, videos, sculptures and installations which involve a range of unusual materials and industrial processes.
Having exhibited widely throughout their prolific career, LigoranoReese’s most recent solo exhibitions include 50 Different Minds at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon and If You Lived Here at the Massachusetts College of Arts in Boston, Massachusetts in 2012. In 2014, their work IAMI, a multi-media, interactive, fiber-optic tapestry was the subject of a media room installation at Catharine Clark Gallery. LigoranoReese’s work can be found in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the SFMOMA, The New York Public Library, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Getty Institute. LigoranoReese live and work in Brooklyn, New York and have been affiliated with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2010.
The American Dream Project
Philadelphia, July 25, 2016
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.