Artists Ligorano/Reese Make Icy Comments on State of U.S. Economy, Democracy

“Morning in America” (Middle Class) 2011

NEW YORK—The artists Ligorano/Reese use the beauty, fragility and fleeting nature of ice to make provocative, artistic comments on society.

“Iced,” an exhibit at Jim Kempner Fine Art through the end of October, includes video and digital prints of a trilogy of the duo’s sculptural work—”The State of Things” (Democracy), “Main Street Meltdown” (Economy) and “Morning in America” (Middle Class).

Ligorano/Reese refer to the sculptures as “temporary monuments” that the public can touch and interact with, which, whether in a curious or destructive manner, influences how long the carved ice lasts.

All Photos by Arts Observer

Video of “The State of Things,” (Democracy) 2008

Provisions Library commissioned “The State of Things” during the 2008 presidential campaign and it was installed in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver during the Democratic National Convention, where it lasted overnight.

“The State of Things” (Democracy), 2008

Two day later, “The State of Things” (a recreation of the same sculpture?) was displayed at the state capitol in St. Paul, Minn., when the 2008 Republican National Convention was underway. This time the installation lasted just five hours.

“Main Street Meltdown” (Economy), 2008

“Main Street Meltdown” was staged at Foley Square near Wall Street at the end of October, just days before Election Day 2008 and coinciding with the 79th anniversary of the Great Depression.

Video of “Morning in America” (Middle Class), 2011

In June 2011, during the budget debate in Congress, the artists showed “Morning in America” (the title is borrowed from Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign) in the outdoor exhibit space at Jim Kempner Fine Art.

“Morning in America” (Middle Class) 2011, after it has almost melted away

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