Andrei Molodkin: "Crude”

The new installation at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art is named Andrei Molodkin: "Crude,” and aptly so. Russian-born artist Molodkin uses crude oil as one of his materials. Molodkin has created a series of clear plastic sculptures of familiar imagery and weighted meaning, such as the Statue of Liberty and Jesus on the cross. Employing a chemical process that he invented using acrylic and Plexiglas, he literally hollows out the monuments so they become empty casings. The molds are then hooked up to a series of pumps and injected with oil or blood, or even both. (Apparently, the blood was all donated.)

The allegorical aspect of oil running through the veins of lady liberty is an obvious one, but nonetheless powerful. Oil flows not just into statues but into plastic molds of carefully chosen words with weighted meanings — “Democracy” and “F#$% You.” Videotape of the installation is projected against the museum walls, showing larger-than-life images of the pieces. The installation also includes massive ballpoint pen drawings of political figures and symbols.

His work is charged with economic and societal references, very purposefully so. “We don’t have liberty nor victory,” he tells us. “We are constantly being filled with either oil or blood and we never get full.” Molodkin also jokes that Houston was a good place to display these specific works; we know a lot about oil in these parts. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. Through February 12. 1502 Alabama. For information, call 713-529-6900 or visit www.stationmuseum.com. Free.
Sat., Nov. 5, 2011

 
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