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Tim Louis Graham


A black-and-white photograph shows small pellets on a concrete ground with a chain link fence on your right.

Tim Louis Graham, Counter Clockwise (detail of sculpture in process), 2010. 72 x 72 x 72 in. (182.9 x 182.9 x 182.9 cm)

Courtesy of the artist

Conrad Schumann defecting from East Germany in 1961. Archival film still

Image courtesy of ullstein bild/The Granger Collection, New York


This exhibition, titled {…} (2010), consists of four 6-by-6-foot chain-link fencing panels that connect to form a minimalist cube, or what the artist calls a cage-like structure. The artist has dismantled the cage by cutting the chain-link into small pieces, allowing them to fall to the floor in the center and at the outer edges of the cube. In discussing the work (titled Counter-Clockwise—an allusion to the direction taken in dismantling the chain-link) Tim Louis Graham emphasizes the performative time element that remains present, as viewers interact with the sculpture and gradually come to comprehend the process that has transpired.

The installation also includes an archival film still of Conrad Schumann defecting from East Germany in 1961. The printed still depicts Schumann jumping over the barbed wire which constituted the Berlin Wall in its third day of construction. Graham questions the associations of freedom and escape generally attributed to these iconic images by asking us to consider the life-narrative that extends beyond the historical moment represented in the photographs.

Schumann had ambiguous feelings about his defection and eventually committed suicide. In pairing the archival photographs with the sculpture, Graham overtly addresses such themes as confinement, escape, time, and the non-linearity of historical and personal narratives.

Graham is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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