Andréa Stanislav: Convergence Infinité is the 112th installment of the Saint Louis Art Museum’s popular Currents series showcasing contemporary art. In her new works, Stanislav, the 2015-2016 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Fellow artist, explores the complex meanings associated with the natural and mythological history of St. Louis.
In Convergence Infinité, Stanislav created a multichannel video that maps the city using an aerial drone, creating a vista from a bird’s-eye view. This work captures sites of social and environmental import from the Mississippi River and Cahokia Mounds to the Gateway Arch, converging in front of the Museum at The Apotheosis of St. Louis—the equestrian statue of the city’s namesake. These films will be installed amidst a variety of mirrored sculptures, taxidermied animals and reflective paintings, all reinforcing and complementing Stanislav’s fascination with Midwestern history.
Currently working in Minneapolis and New York, gallery artist Andréa Stanislav is internationally recognized for sculpture, video installation, and public projects. She has been featured in group exhibitions at the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art , Russia (2013), and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Gallery (2011). Her past solo exhibitions were featured at the Art Center Pushkinskaya-10, St. Petersburg, Russia (2014), and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2008).
Currents 112: Andréa Stanislav: Convergence Infinité is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, with Molly Moog, research assistant.
The exhibition is open between March 24-June 19, 2016 Gallery 250, East Building and Gallery 301, Main Building. More info.
“For Currents 112: Convergence Infinité, Andréa Stanislav has created a new body of poetic work that explores St. Louis’s complex natural and social histories. Stanislav’s fascination with the city is long-standing; she grew up in Chicago and made frequent visits to St. Louis as a child. Stanislav specifically interrogates the ways in which St. Louis connects to what the artist calls the “architecture of empire.”Throughout her work, Stanislav seeks to question mythologies surrounding ancient, medieval, or modern civilizations. She writes, “I am interested in how the past bleeds through to the present. How ghosts of empires call out to our own, with otherworldly voices.” Stanislav’s hybrid practice incorporates sculpture, installation, video, and public art.In Convergence Infinite, Stanislav has created a complex immersive space that brings together mirrored sculpture, a four-screen multichannel video, digital printing on mirrors, and taxidermied animals. Stanislav has focused on two constructions that she associates particularly with St. Louis and the idea of empire: Cahokia Mounds and the Gateway Arch. Medieval Cahokia was the largest prehistoric civilization north of Mexico, larger than London during its time period. Correspondingly, the Gateway Arch embodies American capitalism and its Manifest Destiny principles that emerged from nineteenth-century America. Two large-scale mirrored sculptures, Apogee 1200 and Apogee 1969 echo and abstract the forms of Cahokia Mounds and the Arch, respectively. Each is a half-completed structure, suggesting the underlying and transient fragility beneath the construct of empire.Stanislav also examines these ideas in the four-screen video, Converger, which maps the complex geography of the city. Here, the video camera mimics the flight of a bird, swooping high and low, along four routes from north, south, east, and west. Along the way, local sites of social and environmental importance are captured. Some of these are former or current sites of Native American mounds, such as Cahokia Mounds and Sugarloaf Mound in South St. Louis. Other sites reference the complex and problematic narrative of the American empire. The Old Des Peres Presbyterian Church, for example, represents the history of slavery. Formerly known as the Old Stone Meeting House,the church was built in 1833 and was a stop on the Underground Railroad.” Complete Brochure