INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Museum of Art recently announced that it has commissioned artist Kim Beck to create the next site-specific installation for The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres.
Premiering June 22, "NOTICE: A Flock of Signs" will be the park's 11th installation since its opening in June 2010, joining site-specific works by Alfredo Jaar, Jeppe Hein, Kendall Buster, and Andrea Zittel, among others.
Located on 100 acres of land that includes untamed woodlands, wetlands, a lake, and meadows adjacent to the museum, the art and nature park is one of the largest museum art parks in the country and one of only a few to feature the ongoing commission of temporary, site-responsive artworks. In Kim Beck's "NOTICE: A Flock of Signs," park visitors will discover groups of signs crowded along landscape pathways. Clusters of signs will be sited in several areas throughout the park, with the density and abundance in each area creating surprising, nonsensical landscapes, reminiscent of the fantasy world of Dr. Seuss, in an otherwise serene nature preserve.
"'NOTICE: A Flock of Signs' will offer yet another playful experience in the ever popular Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park," Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon director and CEO of the IMA, said in a press release. "Kim Beck's installation will take visitors down the rabbit hole as they find new ways to discover the park."
Unlike signage typically used to guide and inform, Beck's signs will deliberately perplex, misdirect, and even contradict one another. A hyper-informative, look-at-me garden folly, "NOTICE: A Flock of Signs" will elevate the everyday - the paths, trees, flora, and traces of fauna. Additionally, the signs will play on official signage used for safety and land use, but will embrace a handmade aesthetic and experiment with variations of scale and perspective. The project playfully addresses conventional uses of signage and explanatory text in art museums and formal gardens, and provides a counterpoint to the more directed visitor experience inside the museum. Beck's intervention in the park will also emphasize the tension between what is considered "natural" or "constructed" geography within the sculpture park experience.
"Kim Beck's 'NOTICE: A Flock of Signs' cleverly calls out how absurd and contrived wayfinding can be in many public spaces," said Sarah Urist Green, curator of contemporary art at the IMA. "While museum signage is often designed to be discreet, Beck's signs instead loudly announce their presence - taking on an almost human-like character as they descend on 100 Acres in flocks to alert passersby to seemingly inconsequential aspects of the landscape."
Marking the first week of summer, the IMA will premiere "NOTICE: A Flock of Signs" as part of its annual Summer Solstice Celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. June 22 in the art and nature park. The event will include NOTICE-related art-making and signage projects for all ages, music by the Chicago Afrobeat Project, and activities curated by Heidi Fledderjohn. This free event occurs rain or shine.
The IMA is at 4000 Michigan Road. For more information, call 923-1331 or visit the website at www.imamuseum.org.