July 16 - August 3, 2015
VIEWING ROOM: Michael Stevenson
The Fountain of Prosperity
SculptureCenter was pleased to present Michael Stevenson's The Fountain of Prosperity. The work was presented in collaboration with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through its VIEWING ROOM program. VIEWING ROOM is a charted journey through some recent acquisitions of the Colección's contemporary art collection and consists of a series of events in which a single artwork from the collection is exhibited for a day, or longer, in various locations in New York City, with an accompanying public program. Audiences are invited to experience seminal yet rarely seen artworks—in most cases, never before exhibited in the city—and to participate in programs designed to help articulate the working processes and contexts in which these works were created.
At SculptureCenter, VIEWING ROOM featured the artwork The Fountain of Prosperity, 2006, by New Zealand artist Michael Stevenson. The Fountain of Prosperity was created after the artist's extensive research into the Phillips Machine, a.k.a. Monetary National Income Analogue Computing Machine, or MONIAC, a hydro-mechanical computer invented in 1949 by Bill Phillips with the purpose to represent fiscal and monetary flows in a national economy. The MONIAC was initially used for educational purposes, but it was eventually marketed to developing countries. Stevenson's sculpture is inspired by this market shift, and stems largely from archival and field research in Guatemala, where the Central Bank purchased a MONIAC in 1952.
Michael Stevenson (b. 1964 in New Zealand) lives in Berlin. Solo exhibitions have taken place at Portikus in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2012); Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Mexico (2012); and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia (2011). Recent group exhibitions include The Chronicle of Interventions at Tate Modern, London, UK (2014); Berlin Biennial, Berlin, Germany (2014); and the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK (2014).
Upcoming episodes of VIEWING ROOM include the presentation of the following artworks and programs, each at a different location in New York City: Looting, 2010, by Regina José Galindo (Guatemala); The Catherwood Project, 1985-1993, by Leandro Katz (Argentina), and Secrets from the Amazons / Tomo River, 2011, by Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves (Peru and Colombia). An earlier episode of VIEWING ROOM featured A Voyage or 'With the MS Remscheid on the Amazon' or the Account of a Voyage Under the Stars of the Refrigerator, 1968-1972, by Lothar Baumgarten (Germany).
VIEWING ROOM is organized by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, with artist Alejandro Cesarco. On the occasion of VIEWING ROOM at SculptureCenter, they have worked closely with Mary Ceruti (SculptureCenter Executive Director and Chief Curator) and Ruba Katrib (SculptureCenter Curator) in designing the presentation of The Fountain of Prosperity by Michael Stevenson.
With offices in New York and Caracas, the mission of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros is to enhance appreciation of the diversity, sophistication, and range of art from Latin America, advance scholarship of Latin American art, and promote excellence in visual-arts education. Its art collection is organized in five different sections: ethnographic (Orinoco), colonial, traveler-artists, modern, and contemporary.