Antoine’s Organ, 2016

Basel 2018
Hauser & Wirth
Performance
Black steel, grow lights, plants, wood, shea butter, books, monitors, rugs, piano
858.5 x 480.1 x 321.9 Size (cm)
338.0 x 189.0 x 126.7 Size (in)
Antoine’s Organ injects a sprawling, heterogeneous ecosystem into a rigid armature of black steel scaffolding. Visually evoking prison cells and Sol LeWitt’s open Minimalist cubes alike, Antoine’s Organ plays on the structure of the grid and the form’s associations with containment, rigor, and organization. Building upon these constraints as it subverts them, Rashid Johnson’s latticed construction teems with a lively bricolage of potted plants, shea-butter busts, video monitors playing looped films, ornate rugs, music, carefully selected stacks of books and a fully functioning piano. Johnson’s soaring sculptural installation functions through organic accumulation, growth and the delight of unexpected elements meeting. At the beating heart of the labyrinthine work is an upright piano, partially concealed above the viewer and behind the leaves. The installation features performances by the classically trained pianist and music producer Antoine Baldwin (also known as Audio BLK). As Baldwin plays the piano suspended in the air, melodies float through the foliage. The music continuously activates the work, implying the life-giving power of music in conveying narrative and cohering communities.