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January 07, 2014

Aspen Art Museum Gets Us Thinking

By Sasha Levine | Art

Aspen Art Museum Gets Us Thinking
Courtesy of Kerry Tribe and 1301PE, Los Angeles

The Aspen Art Museum is currently hosting “Trapping Lions in the Scottish Highlands,” a group show of videos, drawings, installations and other works on view through February 2.

The show—whose title comes from Alfred Hitchcock’s famous explanation of a MacGuffin (an element in a film or story that keeps the plot moving despite its own lack of inherent importance)—explores the complexity, uncertainty and incoherence of storytelling in contemporary art. “All the works deal with narratives or narrative structures of various kinds, but in such a way that the narrative itself is not really the point,” says curator Jacob Proctor. “It becomes a kind of device that allows other things to unfold formally, conceptually and philosophically.”

In addition to showcasing historical pieces by Mac Adams, Victor Burgin and John Smith, the exhibition presents brand-new works by artists Matthew Brannon, Gerard Byrne and Katarina Burin, as well as the North American premières of important recent projects by Saskia Olde Wolbers and Alejandro Cesarco.

Blurring the line between fiction and reality, the show urges spectators to ponder larger questions about how they know what they think they know, Proctor explains. “All the works in the exhibition ask us to look—and then to look again,” he says, “and to consciously ask ourselves about what and how we see.” 590 N. Mill St.; 970-925-8050; aspenartmuseum.org.