Since 1998, New York–based Adam Ames (born 1969) and Andrew Bordwin (born 1964) have been artistic collaborators under the moniker Type A. So named for their interest in competition and assertiveness, Ames and Bordwin have produced a body of performance, video, and photographic work that explores the physical and psychological dimensions of male competition and collaboration. In recent years, they have expanded their interests to the changing nature of public space as a result of this same male competition in the form of a growing, post–9/11 security culture: aggression posing as protection.
Barrier takes the form of twenty-one identical curved concrete sculptures based on the Jersey barrier, objects originally designed to divide highway lanes during construction. After 9/11 they were repurposed for use as security devices, and thus transformed into both actual and symbolic boundaries of governmental and corporate authority. Type A has taken those roles and tweaked them, turning the barriers into objects that still function in their original roles, but with the added weight of art history and social and political awareness.
Previously, Barrier has been installed at the Aldrich Museum in Connecticut, the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in New York, and DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts. At Cornell, the installation is located on the Museum grounds, in dialogue with the buildings’ architecture.
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Museum is grateful for the support of the Cornell Council for the Arts.