First exhibited in 2015 at Barlowʼs solo exhibition ‘tryst’ at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, ‘untitled: 100banners2015’ is a dense installation comprized of clashing, brightly colored fabric banners, draped haphazardly across unwieldy, painted timber flagpoles anchored with sand bags. The banners are placed so close to one another so as to make it impossible to pass through. Barlow, nevertheless, invites the viewer to navigate the sculptureʼs sprawling territory. As typical symbols of power and patriotism, banners mark territory, pledge allegiance, protest and parade; they are the standard markers of war and demonstrations. Yet Barlow deprives them of their proclamations: each banner is unadorned. Disassociated from their traditional function, they simply become vibrant fabric stretched across wooden poles. Potential remains, nonetheless, and although dormant they are primed for reactivation.
Curated by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer, Unlimited is Art Basel’s pioneering exhibition platform for projects that transcend the classical art-show stand, including massive sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances.
Phyllida Barlow: Untitled: 100banners2015, Art Basel 2017 Unlimited, June 13, 2017.
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