Glenn Kaino, Tank: Grand Arts | Kansas City, MO
Tank is the result of a three-year research collaboration between Kaino and Grand Arts, with assistance from Aquamoon (Chicago), and academic and hobbyist coral husbandry experts throughout the United States. The centerpiece of the exhibition is an installation of eleven acrylic vitrines, each of which houses a colony of living corals cultivated from fragments and grown for over a year on individual resin casts from a decommissioned US M-60 military tank. A version of Tank, also produced by Grand Arts, premiered at Prospect.3 New Orleans in fall 2014.
organisms. Corals are fascinating to me because they are reactionary and survive by responding to need but also to instinct. They have an embedded memory and programming that requires a battle with other corals for territory. Fighting is in their nature, but one would not see this unless they were trained to. At Grand Arts, Kaino’s delicate living sculptures enact these slow and silent battles for territory through largely invisible chemical warfare. Some of the corals also send out stinging tentacles in a bid to force the retreat of unwelcome neighbors. With Tank, Kaino brings the history of human conflict and territorialization into relief against the colonizing impulse of an invertebrate species also vulnerable to the effects of the human march toward growth and progress. Special thanks to the teams at Aquamoon: Bryan Schuetze and Bob Van Valkenburg; Biologists: Brian Gauger and Sean Hewitt; Engineers: Brooke Riedel and Doug Bonar, Chicago, IL for their care of the coral animals. Gideon Webster, Los Angeles, CA for his expertise; Aaron Hartmann and Michael Latz at Scripps Birch Research Aquarium/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA; Natural Resources Defense Council; and Matthew Plumlee, Leawood, KS, for their consultation on the project. ABOUT GLENN KAINO Glenn Kaino was born in Los Angeles in 1972. He received a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Irvine in 1993 and a Master of Fine Arts from University of California, San Diego in 1996. One-person exhibitions of his work have been mounted at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2014); LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Creative Time, New York, NY (2009); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2006); and REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2004). His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s, Telfair Museums, Savannah, Tank is inspired in part by Reef-Ex, a U.S. government program in place since the 1990’s, which involves the dumping of outdated military tanks into coastal waters in order to create artificial reefs and fish habitats. Says Kaino: I saw a poetic contradiction in the notion that some of the smallest organisms in the world were reclaiming the instruments of much large