• Oscar Tuazon: Water School
    Oscar Tuazon
    Steven L. Bridges
    Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing
    Jan 26, 2019 to Sep 01, 2019
    Michigan State University–Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Oscar Tuazon: Water School, installation view at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, 2019. Photo: Eat Pomegranate Photography

Steve Baer is a pioneering inventor and architect who first became known for his self-published Dome Cookbook (1968), a treatise on mathematics and do-it-yourself architecture. In 1971, Baer further pushed his zonahedral design systems to create his Zome Home in the foothills overlooking Albuquerque, New Mexico. The house remains one of the earliest modern examples of passive solar architecture, storing the sun’s energy in window-filled water drums. This structural system forms the basis for the artist Oscar Tuazon’s current conceptual and material research into the confluences of artistic, architectural, and environmental concerns. Working with researchers and students at Michigan State University, and taking into account new and recent technological developments, Tuazon sets out to create prototypes for new passive solar architectural systems that are as environmentally and architecturally advanced as they are aesthetically considered.

Oscar Tuazon lives and works in Los Angeles. Comprised of a combination of natural and industrial materials, the sculptures and installations by Tuazon reference minimalist sensibilities, extreme do-it-yourself aesthetics, and vernacular architecture. His works maintain an improvised, precarious quality that draws upon his long-standing interest in how the built environment is redefined and redesigned by the act of inhabitation. Tuazon says, “I hope that the effect of my work is mostly physical. That’s what I like—walking through something, having an experience of the weight of things, or an experience of balance… That kind of really basic physical thing makes the work interesting; it makes it disarming and strange.” His work has been exhibited widely across the United States and Europe, with recent solo presentations at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and Le Consortium in Dijon, France.

Steven L. Bridges is an associate curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. At the MSU Broad he recently cocurated the major exhibition Michigan Stories: Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw; solo exhibitions of the work of Michael E. Smith, Kathryn Andrews, and Daniel G. Baird; and the residency project Beyond Streaming: A Sound Mural for Flint. Previously, Bridges was the curatorial assistant at the MCA Chicago, where he curated solo exhibitions of the work of artists Faheem Majeed and Jason Lazarus, and assisted the major retrospective exhibition of the work of Doris Salcedo. His essays and articles have been published in numerous journals including Art & the Public Sphere, Live Arts Almanac Vol. 2, Dispatch, and Art & Education Paper, as well as in exhibition catalogues and other online and print media. In 2017, he was named a curatorial fellow at the FACE Foundation.

Marc-Olivier Wahler is an international curator, contemporary art critic and art historian. He is currently the director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, as well as founder and director of Chalet Society, Paris. Formerly, he served as the director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006–12); the Swiss Institute, New York (2000–06); and was the founding director of CAN, Neuchâtel (1995–2000). During the last twenty years, Wahler has organized over 400 exhibitions in locations all over the world, including Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Zurich, Lausanne, Biel, Geneva, Paris, Dijon, Marrakech, Madrid, Turin, Lisbon, Coimbra, and Los Angeles. In 2011, he was decorated as a Chevalier in the French Republic's Order of Arts and Letters. In 2013, Wahler was awarded the Meret Oppenheim Prize, Switzerland’s highest cultural award in the contemporary arts.

André Bénard is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. He holds MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the École Polytechnique de Montréal and the University of Delaware, respectively, and completed a postdoctoral research appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His research interests include sustainable manufacturing and materials processing, multiphase flow and heat transfer, and the design and modeling of new separation and processing equipment. He works on developing technology that improves the sustainability of modern society. He has taught courses in multiphase flows, thermos-fluid sciences, and alternative energy systems.

Opened in November 2012, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is an engaged public institution that reflects through art the longstanding global focus of Michigan State University. Expressly dedicated to exploring contemporary culture and ideas through the probing gaze of international artists, the MSU Broad is a place where artists’ ideas, words, and actions create a vibrant center for questioning and understanding the world. Committed to education, experimentation, and study, the MSU Broad is a laboratory for the new, grounded in a deep appreciation for the historical. The MSU Broad is committed to expanding, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting its collection of artwork from ancient cultures to the present day.