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Washington, DC-based artist Nara Park uses faux building materials to create sculptures and installations that investigate the relationship between humans and the built environment, often referring to inhabited landscapes and the imprints left behind when they are abandoned. Impacted by the profound grief of losing her father, Park’s work explores the transient nature of life and how monuments act as surrogates for that which we have lost. At first glance, her sculptures appear to be made of materials such as marble that signify gravitas and longevity, but a closer look reveals that they are often constructed using disposable components such as thin plastic packaging and wallpaper.
In early 2020 for an exhibition at VisArts, Park introduced a new body of freestanding sculptures that explore how monuments mark space, time, and place. Made from tiny painted Styrofoam beads accumulated into masses, these objects harken the paradoxical grandeur and decay of ancient ruins. Resisting the traditional symbolism of strength and stability, Park’s monuments illustrate the fragility of life.
Park joins Hirshhorn assistant curator Betsy Johnson to discuss her recent experiments with 3D scanning to create simulations of physical phenomena during this time when actual contact has been so severely limited. Examining how physical experiences have been replaced with virtual ones, this body of work continues Parks exploration of the meaning of authenticity and our desire for immortality.
11:50 am EST | Zoom broadcast opens
Noon–1 pm EST | Nara Park in conversation with Betsy Johnson
CART (real-time captioning) will be provided for this program. If you have any questions about accessibility for this program, please email email@example.com.
This event is also part of #HirshhornInsideOut, the Museum’s initiative to bring art into your home.
This program will be recorded and made available following the event. You will find it on this page and on our YouTube channel.