Awaiting Alexander Calder
Awaiting Calder riffs off the Whitney Museum’s “Activations” of Calder sculptures, performed during the exhibition Calder: Hypermobility. The performance uses this form to question the grey areas of artistic intention, authorship, and to set the work into motion beyond Calder’s intention.
Between 1960 and 1965, five standing mobiles by Alexander Calder were picked up from the artist’s studio in France and traveled to his dealers: one to Perls Galleries in New York, and four to Galerie Maeght in Paris. According to the Calder Foundation, in both cases, the top of each standing mobile was mismatched with the base of another of the sculptures it had departed with.
The rotation of these elements mobilized the individual works into a single standing mobile, contingent upon the arrangement of its parts. The sculpture entered the market in various forms at different times, and several new titles and dates were ascribed to it during the artist’s lifetime. Currently untitled and undated, the standing mobile was purchased by the Calder Foundation at auction this year at a discounted price, reflecting its transitory nature. It is the intention of the Foundation to reunite the top with its original base in the future. Until that time arrives, the sculpture has been placed in Magid’s long term care.
Magid will activate the standing mobile by passing through its transitory states, setting the work into motion beyond Calder’s intention.