Artnet News spotlights Tommy Hartung R.U.R Installation at VOLTA

From a Ravaged Home to Creepy Mannequin Heads, Here’s What Caught Our Eye at Volta

The solo-booth format puts the spotlight on some interesting works.

By Eileen Kinsella

March 9, 2018

Among art fairs, VOLTA‘s format remains unique, in that all its participating galleries are asked to present a solo booth. It’s a simple conceit, but one that allows for a sense of depth and context, and a level of visual focus that cuts against the visual overload that can make the fairs so fatiguing.

“Much thought goes into placing the galleries in such a way that meaningful dialogues between different artists, especially in this solo context, create an even deeper understanding and appreciation of the variety of artistic positions presented,” said Amanda Coulson, artistic director of the fair.

This year marks VOLTA’s eleventh in New York City and its fourth at Pier 90, where the proximity to Armory has boosted attendance considerably. (For the curious, the fair’s name comes from the fact that it got its start as a satellite fair in Basel, Switzerland, where it was housed in a former electric plant there.)

There’s plenty to see. Don’t miss, for instance, the latest curated group show at the center of the fair. This year’s edition was organized by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont, titled “The Aesthetics of Matter.” It focuses on collage by several rising stars.

Below, we break out a few of the standout solo projects of VOLTA New York 2018.

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Tommy Hartung’s installation at C24 Gallery, titled R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), is based on Karel Čapek’s 1920 science fiction play where the term “robot” was first used. The play explores the uncertainties raised by the speed of technological progress and the dehumanization that occurs with the robotization of human interactions. In Hartung’s adaptation, the original work is re-written through photographs, costumes, and videos, posing the question of why people want robots to look human.

Read the full article here.