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Bbú Juju painting MV3, 2010-11
(from Big Bambú Metropolitan roof
and Venice Biennale installations)
Unique work: Bamboo and rope
Approximately 108 x 192 x 35 inches

American, Born 1961 

For Mike and Doug Starn, simple combinations of bamboo poles and climbers’ rope are the modular elements from which they compose complex matrices in monumental, site specific installations. They form a dynamic network that is both organic and man-made, fixed yet evolving.

In 2010, the Metropolitan Museum of Art invited the Starns to create a site-specific installation for their Roof Garden. Visitors witnessed the continuing creation and evolving incarnations of Big Bambú as it was constructed throughout the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and their team of rock climbers. On the opening of the exhibition, Gary Tinterow, then Engelhard Chairman of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, stated: “Although the Starn brothers are best known for their photographs, in fact their abiding interest is in organic systems and structures, as seen in their photographs of trees, leaves, and snow flakes, or here, in Big Bambú. We are intrigued by the possibilities of this ever-evolving structure on our Roof Garden, which, when animated by the team of rock climbers, will become an organic system of its own.”

For the Starns, each Big Bambú sculpture is part of the same living organism, continually reconstructed from its own materials, persistently moving forward. "This idea, for us, is about cultures, societies, relationships, me, you, and the world itself; all these are made of countless individual elements (or experiences)- all in some way interconnected to the others. Each of these has an innate active virtue and simply through their existence and progressive time they effect a change and eventually what these elements are component of is completely different from what it once was, yet still completely and undeniably the same thing.  This growth is happening all the time, and the old disappears. In Motorcycle Diaries, Guevara wrote '…me, is no longer me, at least I’m not the me I was.' "
We re-use bamboo and sections from the different installations, they act as stem cells and the new sculpture grows from that. But more literally the new sculptures and the first one are all the same piece – Every piece we make in this series is from and is the same piece– it goes dormant for a while and then reawakens somewhere else."

The work seen here was cut from the performative installation that spanned the roof of the Metropolitan, subsequently it was grafted into the artists’ 70-foot tall installation in last year’s 54th Venice Biennale. The Starns state that this unique artwork, Bbú Juju Painting MV3, is a 'painting' and holds the essence of Big Bambú in it. It is simultaneously a work in its own right, a relic, and contains the potential of future use.

Big Bambú: You Can't, You Don't and You Won't Stop was the 9th highest attended exhibit in the entire history of The Metropolitan Museum, and was the 4th highest attended contemporary art exhibition in the world in 2010.

There are currently 4 new Big Bambú installations internationally in planning stages.

Big Bambú is presented at The Armory Show courtesy of :
HackelBury Fine Art (London, UK—booth 416)
Wetterling Gallery (Stockholm, Sweden—booth 420)

To view other works at the HackelBury Armory booth click here
To read more about Doug + Mike Starn click here

To view further image gallery click here

Please find us at booth #416
E: kate@hackelbury.co.uk
T: 646 645 4260 (during the fair only)
Full details at: www.thearmoryshow.com



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© 2012 HackelBury Fine Art, Ltd. Copyright for all images is held by the respective artist or estate and they may not be reproduced in any form without express permission. All rights reserved.