"Futuristic" mid-century architecture ages badly; when clean, crisp lines and minimal surfaces become worn and grubby, they look like a failed dream.
Clarissa Tossin's 2009 two-channel video White Marble Everyday records the repetitive labor that goes into preserving a particular modernist dream -- Brasilia's Oscar Niemeyer-designed Federal Supreme Court Building. Tossin's video captures a few minutes of the four hours workers spend Mondays through Saturdays scrubbing the white marble exterior floors, futilely trying to retain their utopian promise, a losing battle in Brasilia.
Tossin's video is a part of "Building Arts," yet another smart and interesting show from Sicardi Gallery. It's filled with art that draws on or references architectural structures. There's plenty of good work -- be sure to check out Alexander Apóstol's large, digitally altered photographs. Selecting 1950s modern buildings from Caracas's decaying downtown, Apóstol turns the aging structures into windowless, entrance-less monoliths.
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The show runs through November 12 at Sicardi Gallery, 2246 Richmond Avenue. For information, call 713-529-1313.