Matthew Buckingham
Northwest Passage, 2002
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 05.02.15

Matthew Buckingham’s two works consider the North American political imaginary in relation to power, colonization, sovereignty, climate change and control of natural resources.

Northwest Passage (2002) juxtaposes an image of a military submarine passing the Statue of Liberty to a text by Buckingham about Henry Hudson, who in 1609 was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to search for a route between Europe and Asia. In turn, this trade-focused quest for a “Northwest Passage” prompted European colonization of North America. The text further notes that global warming may soon open this passage to shipping and that North American financial partners are currently investing in this outcome. Given that the passage was first navigated by a military submarine in 1958, Buckingham links the military industrial complex to the interests of capital.
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Matthew Buckingham, Northwest Passage, 2002, black-and-white c-print, 100 x 121 cm, edition of 5 (courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York)
Self-Determination, 2014
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 05.02.15

This future Northwest Passage could be a discussion topic in Buckingham’s new participatory work Self-Determination (2014), which involves ongoing public conversations on power with respect to North American states, territories, communities and individuals. Two large planes, one vertical and the other horizontal, are positioned in the installation to act as props for activating these conversations. Felt shapes representing the individual nations, states and territories of the North American continent sit flat on one plane. Importantly, the maps are colour-coded to indicate their climates – from tropical to polar. Scheduled speakers will be invited by the Biennale, on behalf of the artist, to transfer one or more of the maps to the vertical surface, as a means of grounding specific discussions of past, present or future power relations within or between their chosen geographical areas. Visitors are also invited to initiate their own public conversations by way of a sign-up sheet in the exhibition. In this way, Buckingham extends a research-based practice that explores the power plays shaping possible futures into the realm of public participation.
—GB

Matthew Buckingham, Self-Determination, 2014, pigment, industrial felt, grommets, wood, two sections: 216 x 216 x 140 cm each, installation dimensions variable (courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York)
Matthew Buckingham, Self-Determination, 2014, pigment, industrial felt, grommets, wood, two sections: 216 x 216 x 140 cm each, installation dimensions variable (courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York)
Biography

Born in Nevada, Iowa, in 1963, Matthew Buckingham currently lives in New York City. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2011); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2009); Art Institute of Chicago (2008); Camden Arts Centre, London (2007); Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2007); The Kitchen, New York (2005); Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland (2005); St. Louis Art Museum (2005); Dallas Museum of Art (2004); and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (2003).

Buckingham has also contributed to group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2008); Jewish Museum, New York (2008), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007); Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2006); Hayward Gallery, London (2005); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005); Museum of Modern Art (2005, 1997 and 1994); MoMA PS1 (2000); and Whitney Museum of American Art (1999). His work is represented in important museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Tate Modern, London; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Kadist Foundation, Paris. Buckingham is represented by Murray Guy, New York, and Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf and Berlin.

matthewbuckingham.net