Shortlist 2016 Miami Beach
Max Hooper Schneider was selected for fourth BMW Art Journey. Los Angeles-based artist to explore reef ecologies in the Indo-West Pacific, in Russia and East Africa.
Max Hooper Schneider’s Art Journey is a maritime exploration of coral reefs around the globe. Most of the sites are situated in the Indo-West Pacific, where the majority of the planet’s corals are found; others are in Russia and East Africa.
The journey, as currently envisaged, includes shorter visits to two pilgrimage sites seminal in the development of the coral imaginary in science and art: Cocos Keeling Islands, where Charles Darwin conducted fieldwork for his 1842 treatise, “The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs”; and The Bahamas, to which André Breton traveled on an imaginary voyage via readymade photographic representations of Bahamian coral in order to document nature’s surreality.
Max Hooper Schneider’s journey will investigate reef systems from the Bikini Atoll to the Fukushima disaster “reef” in Japan, from Lake Baikal in Russia to the coast of Madagascar, and produce a diverse narrative around them. Importantly, each reef system has been compromised by its contact with humans, and each one reveals a specific aspect of how this interaction has occurred, as well as how human and non-human agents have acted over time to remediate the damage. Together, the reefs tell a story of death and resilience, corruption and rebirth.
The artist’s journey will include dimensions of research and documentation as well as sculptural events. Building on his longstanding practice of creating glass and acrylic vitrines that both contain and reflect upon complex natural and man-made systems, Max Hooper Schneider plans to bury empty vitrines at sea near one or more of the visited sites. The transformation of the vitrines into new, as he terms them, ‘Trans-Habitats’, co-created by artist, reef, and other natural and human participants in the process, will be monitored by the artist periodically. Hooper Schneider’s long-term expectation is to exhume and exhibit these Trans-Habitats well after the formal conclusion of this Art Journey.
The five-member jury lauded the exceptional depth and detail of his idea: “The proposal develops important themes in Hooper Schneider’s practice, which already impressed us deeply at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The idea of visiting coral reefs grows out of Hooper Schneider’s interests in the relationship between philosophy and nature, the personal and the political, destruction and construction and what he calls non-human and human agents. We were excited by how the project gives expression to concerns about ecological destruction in today’s world. This ambitious project amounts to a series of artistic tests, coupled with richly sourced historical research, which promises to open new dimensions in the artist’s work and lead to unpredictable results. We are curious to see the filmic material, the photographs, the texts, and subsequently, the Trans-Habitats that will emerge from Max Hooper Schneider’s extraordinary Art Journey.”
Max Hooper Schneider was chosen from a shortlist of three artists from the Discoveries sector of Art Basel in Hong Kong 2016. He is represented by Jenny’s Los Angeles, and High Art, Paris.
Max Hooper Schneider (born Los Angeles, CA 1982) graduated from Harvard University in 2011 with a master’s degree in landscape architecture.
The foregrounding of material technologies and biological systems within this field continues to inform his artistic practice. Hooper Schneider’s work develops and explores the aesthetics of succession through the creation of worlds that materialize and dramatize nature in diverse ways with nature conceived as a process of ceaseless change and morphogenic modulation. The resultant work voids the difference between the natural and the artificial, challenges conventional systems of classification, and suggests a worldview that strives to dislocate humans from their assumed position of centrality and superiority as knowers and actors in the world. Hooper Schneider lives and works in Los Angeles.
Maggie Lee (b. 1987) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York
The Taiwanese American artist received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the Pratt Institute in 2009. At Art Basel in Miami Beach, the multimedia artist is presenting an immersive installation of new works in various formats, conceived as a teenage girl’s bedroom, where each of the objects are individual works including a television, hanging sculptures and wall works that combine collaged elements and create a multi-layered experience. Lee’s solo exhibitions include 356 Mission, Los Angeles, Real Fine Arts, New York and Ladybug House, San Francisco. Recent group shows include the Whitney Museum, New York and SCHLOSS in Oslo.
Beto Shwafaty (b. 1977) lives and works in Brazil.
In 2015 he received the FOCO Bradesco/ArtRio Award as well as the ICCo/SP-Arte Award. He develops a research-based practice on spaces, histories and visualities. Shwafaty’s exhibition at Art Basel in Miami Beach contains an installation of video, sculpture, objects and printed matter to compose a display that evokes aspects linked to the management of land, population, political imagery and aesthetics. His solo exhibitions include City Museum of São Paulo, Parc, Lima and Lampione, Frankfurt am Main.