This month, shoppers at the Ithaca Mall will have something more exciting to view than price tags and bargain bins: The Sculpture Shoppe, an exhibition of plaster reproductions of classical Greco- Roman art from the Cornell Cast Collection and responses to cast culture and classical art by contemporary artists and thinkers.
The exhibition opens May 5 at 6 pm with a live performance of MUSE–AK: “A Mall Performance of Ancient Greek Song.” The performance will reinterpret three songs from antiquity as muzak, a nod to the style of mass-produced soundtracks played in retail spaces. The concert features human musicians and an animatronic statue named Muse 3000.
The goal of The Sculpture Shoppe is to engage the general mall-going public through interactive exhibition design and public events, the organizers said. The monthlong project will feature extensive public facing programming for both general and academic audiences and includes works of arts in diverse media that engage with traditions of classical art and history, figurative sculpture, and the “remixability” of mold making and casting processes, including digital processes such as 3D printing and scanning.
“By bringing classical art and contemporary responses into an unexpected context through the venue of the near-abandoned shopping mall, we hope to draw the public into conversations about the history, problematics, and mutability of the ‘western canon,’” write the exhibit organizers: David Nasca, MFA ’22; Verity Platt, professor and chair of classics and professor of history of art and visual studies; and Annetta Alexandridis, associate professor of history of art and visual studies and classics, all in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The project is funded by the Cornell Council for the Arts and the Society for Classical Studies.
The Sculpture Shoppe is located in a former retail space next to the Food Court. It will open May 5 at 6 p.m. and then open at these times through May 29: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5 p.m.