Dean Baldwin constructs temporary large-scale architectural structures as immersive social environments within which he plays the role of host. Providing a party atmosphere where food and alcohol are often shared with the public, these performative hybrid spaces subvert the traditional protocols and conventions of museums and galleries allowing a fully interactive experience with the artwork.
Recruiting the purveyors of assorted local street industries, Baldwin enlisted their myriad everyday services to fabricate iconic objects recalling Greco- Roman antiquity. He adopts the pragmatic aesthetics of Bombay’s contemporary street kiosks, but tangles them with classical archetypes of western history, providing viewers with an unusual exhibition encounter. The Calyx-Krater Chamber is both a functioning food stall and an immersive museological display. It is an ensemble of unique sculptural components produced in collaboration with individual sign painters, Dharavi potters, copper tambats, marble workers and metalsmiths of Bombay. At the centre of the installation, as in an ancient Greek symposium, stands a recreated calyx-krater (krater, from the Greek verb “keránnymi”— to mix), a large terracotta vessel.
Invented in the first century B.C.E, the calyx-krater held a wine concoction and served as a gathering place, an immovable hub of conviviality. Additional features of the installation are gastronomic offerings, wall painting, and other hybridized evocations of Baldwin’s symposium aesthetic. For the special opening celebration on the evening of April 25th 2013, visitors activated The Calyx-Krater Chamber.
An artist’s talk with Dean Baldwin and Samir Parker, moderated by Eve Lemesle, took place immediately prior to the opening, from 5:30-6:30 pm, at Indigo Restaurant, 4 Mandlik Road, Colaba. Discussion focussed on the catalyzing effects of new work environments, and the artists’ participation in the India-Quebec Residency Exchange Program.
Dean Baldwin, the first Quebec recipient of the India-Quebec residency, lives and works in Montreal.
The Calyx-Krater Chamber, Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, India.
Multiple Edition “Tastevin", 2013, Comissioned by C Magazine
Lime Eyes, Parisian Laundry, Montréal.
Not Still Short Life, Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto.
Oh Canada, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, USA (group show)