The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present Shared Space: A New Era, an exhibition of photographs and video from 1987 through 2010 that considers the world’s social, economic, and political climate over the past thirty years and how the growing impact of technology during this time, with radically increased and diversified communication, has introduced a new phase of globalization. This exhibition has been curated by Lillian Lambrechts from the Bank of America Collection and is on loan from its Art in our Communities® program.
Shared Space features contemporary artists from twelve countries: the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland. These artists capture myriad spaces for communication and interaction—urban and rural landscapes,homes and backyards, city streets and plazas, and ports and terminals. The exhibition’s point of departure is 1987, a seminal year that marks the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and soon thereafter the fall of the Berlin Wall, events marking the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new age of international exchange.
Sze Tsung Leong’s cityscapes illustrate the impact of a global economy. Thomas Ruff’s and Günther Förg’s photographs show the rapid transformation of the built environment through images of Modernist architecture constructed upon utopian ideals, now derelict and failing to realize its original intention. Photographs by Raghubir Singh, Thomas Struth, and Massimo Vitali depict masses of people gathering in public spaces from Los Angeles to Vietnam, and the Netherlands—expressing an unprecedented universality of access to information. Despite the interconnectivity of this time, a distancing and disconnect remains between individuals and groups, near and afar, as evidenced in Ben Gest’s Jessica & Samantha (2003), family members in close physical proximity who seem deeply psychologically distanced from one another. Shared Space reminds viewers of their place in the world and their role and impact on current global and interpersonal affairs while also provoking them to consider how they will contribute to “shared space” in the future.
“Bank of America is committed to strengthening artistic institutions and in turn, the communities we serve,” said Bill Tommins, Bank of America Southern Connecticut Market President. “Sharing our collection with the public through partners such as The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum not only makes business sense for the bank, but also helps support museums in Connecticut.”