Carol Bove

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The Whitney Museum of American Art has recently announced artists for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, taking place March 6-June 1. Of the 81 participants, installation artist Carol Bove has been selected in addition to Rita Ackerman, Oliver Mosset, and Spike Lee. Bove has gained attention for what she calls “forced collaborations” with other artists. In a recent solo exhibition at Maccarone Gallery in New York, collectors lent Bove a 1963 eight-inch sphere by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, which she placed on a platform surrounded by concrete blocks, bronze cages, driftwood and steel. In the same exhibition, she covered part of the gallery’s ceiling with rigid metal mesh and then suspended thin copper rods from it. Each rod corresponded to the exact location of a star in the night sky above the gallery on October 21, 2007. She did this same installation with bronze rods on March 2, 2006 in Berlin. The immediacy of this work demonstrates that Bove’s work is “not nostalgic” as admirer (and co-curator of the 2008 Whitney Biennial), Shamin M. Momin states.

Bove earned her degree in studio art from New York University and has been reviewed by the New York Times and W Magazine. She began her career with installations of bookshelves containing cultural paraphernalia from the 1960s, such as the writings of Jorge Luis Borges and framed drawings of Mia Farrow. The books and various objects chosen referenced revolution, LSD, suicide, and radical politics, among other things. Alluding to a time when creative freedom was seemingly unrestrained, Bove transcends simple nostalgia by taking a conceptual approach to the cultural ideals of the 1960s. Uniting her early works and her new installations is the allusion to the ephemeral quality of life, both in the cultural “moment” of the 60s and the temporal “moment” of the alignment of the stars.

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