Michael Ashkin: Horizont

A building with cars parked in front

This exhibition presents Michael Ashkin's recent work consisting of sculptures and photographs that reflect the urban landscape of Berlin as one of voids, liminality, and conflict. As a result of war, aerial bombing, the divisions of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, recurrent battles over historical remembrance and preservation, real estate speculation and development, as well as the legacy of conflictual marketing images, the city's topography contains traumatic gaps and separations.

Ashkin writes, "During these labyrinthine walks across the city, the present manifests a claustrophobic and repressive normalcy, hiding its past behind the walls, beneath the rubble, among the roots; its future equally obscured, but perhaps soon visible, on the horizon, through the endless staggered obstructions."

Ashkin's work includes sculpture, installation, photography, video, painting, and text and looks at the role of aesthetic representation in the economic and political production of space. After receiving a B.A. in Oriental studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Columbia University in Middle East languages and cultures, he worked eight years in the financial world before choosing to become an artist. He received an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. His work has been shown at the Whitney Biennial (1997), Greater New York (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), Vienna Secession (2009), IVAM in Valencia, Spain (2010), Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen (2014), and Kolumba, Köln (2015). His most recent photography book, Long Branch, was published in 2014. He has been awarded two Pollock-Krasner Fellowships (1997, 2012) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). He has taught at AAP since 2006 where he is currently an associate professor and chair of the Department of Art. This exhibition is cosponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts.