Hayden and Reference Galleries

An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art

ShowingMay 19, 2017 - July 16, 2017

Hayden and Reference Galleries

An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art brings together a group of twelve international artists to examine the recent multidisciplinary turn towards affect by focusing on art works that explore how bodies are shaped, modified, or affected by the intensity of their interaction. Many contemporary artists engage with modes of address and content that is tethered to affect, yet at the same eschew sentimentality and expressivity. The exhibition presents works that variously investigate our intimate relationships with objects; works that act as vehicles for affective engagement or transactions of desire, including objects that carry the traces of things we can’t see but have to trust, intuit, or perceive in ways that are not related to vision or hearing; and works that are engaged with actions of interpersonal care, trust, intimacy, or love.

Artists included are Andrea Büttner, Sophie Calle, Alejandro Cesarco, Jason Dodge,
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Antonia Hirsch, Jill Magid, Park McArthur, Lisa Tan, Erika Vogt, Susanne M. Winterling, and Anicka Yi.

An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art is curated by Henriette Huldisch, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center. The exhibition is accompanied by a 96-page fully illustrated catalogue published by Prestel/DelMonico in association with the MIT List Visual Arts Center. Edited by Henriette Huldisch, the catalogue features essay contributions by Eugenie Brinkema, Associate Professor, Literature Section, MIT; Johanna Burton, Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum; and Emily Watlington, Curatorial Research Assistant, MIT List Visual Arts Center and graduate student History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture, MIT.

Download the Press Release

Download the Education Brochure

An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art is generously supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene Demoulas & Tom Coté, Jane & Neil Pappalardo, Cynthia & John Reed, and Terry & Rick Stone.  In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR.

General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Office of the Associate Provost at MIT, the MIT School of Architecture + Planning, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and many generous individual donors. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.

  • Lisa Tan
    HD video with sound, 19:12 minutes
    Installation view Lisa Tan:  For Every Word Has Its Own Shadow, Galleri Riis Stockholm, 2015
    Courtesy of the artist and Galleri Riis, Oslo and Stockholm

  • Erika Vogt
    Secret Traveler Navigator, 2010
    16mm and Digital video, color, sound, 12 min.; wooden stand, enamel painted screen surface, and painted interior room.
    Courtesy the artist and Overduin & Co., Los Angeles

  • Antonia Hirsch
    Object T, 2015
    HD video, stereo audio, headphones, granite, steel, heating hardware
    12’6” looped on 92cm x 54cm flat screen / 92cm x 54cm x 35cm granite monolith
    Courtesy the artist and Repubic Gallery, Vancouver

  • Andrea Büttner
    Little Works, 2007
    HD video
    10:42 minutes
    Courtesy of Hollybush Gardens, London and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. ©
    Andrea Büttner / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016.

  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres
    “Untitled” (Loverboy), 1989
    Blue fabric and hanging device
    Dimensions vaiy with installation
    Installation view: Felix Gonzalez-Torres: This Place. Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland. 30 Oct. 2015 - 24 Jan. 2016. Cur. Eoin Dara.
    © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation
    Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

  • Sophie Calle
    Secrets, 2014
    Two safes, engraved plaque, framed contract
    Collection Alex Hank  © 2017 Sophie Calle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris.
    Image courtesy Sophie Calle and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.
    Photo: Steven Probert

Press Coverage

  1. Lisa Tan Waves

    An Inventory of Shimmers | Harper's Bazaar