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Shimon Attie: Lost in Space (After Huck)

Untitled video still from Lost in Space (After Huck), 2017; Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York © Shimon Attie
American artist Shimon Attie is interested in making people aware of the historical import of public spaces that appear common. In New York he projected the written memories of long-time residents of Manhattan's Lower East Side onto former tenement buildings. For Portraits of Exile, his exhibition in Copenhagen, he submerged light boxes in a canal so that the portraits of Jewish refugees whom the government shipped to safety during World War II would remind Denmark of its heroic actions to save refugees in need, and underline the current administration's malign ambivalence to refugees. Lost in Space (After Huck), his new installation for the Saint Louis Art Museum, uses sculpture, video and audio to evoke the memories of St. Louis mytho-poetic past. A cast epoxy resin raft is the center of the piece; a corn-cob pipe, an oar and a bindle wait for their absent owners in the menacing glow of a police light. Digitally projected constellations of light appear and then wink out in the darkness surrounding the raft, while streaks of lighting race through the artificial night.

— Paul Friswold

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