Site-specific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place. Typically, the artist takes the location into account while planning and creating the artwork. The actual term was promoted and refined by Californian artist Robert Irwin, but it was actually first used in the mid-1970s by young sculptors, such as Patricia Johanson, Dennis Oppenheim, and Athena Tacha, who had started executing public commissions for large urban sites.
The Tosso Pavilion is an art-specific site. It is a virtual location designed and rendered with a particular series of prints and video artworks in mind – The Tosso Variations.
The primary quality of an art-specific site (as opposed to a site-specific artwork) is the manner in which it inverts the traditional relationship between the artwork and exhibition space in which the space exists before the object.
In this art-specific site, the site is dependent on the artwork for its form. One floor is dedicated to the five-channel video artwork and its five walls are joined together to form a pentagonal space.
Above this screening room is a series of five cylindrical floors which display large-scale prints derived from the video timelines of the five movements of the video artwork. These round floors derive their circumferences (ranging from approximately 11 to over 13 meters) from the lengths of the prints which they exhibit.
At the same time that the structure is an emergent property of the parameters of the artwork, this art-specific site allows us to indulge in another level of simulation, as the scale of the structure and its unreal proportions give us a glimpse of an aesthetic experience which has not yet occurred as a "real life" exhibition to date.
That said, given the status of contemporary digital art practices in the debate between what is "IRL" (in real life) and alternately simply "AFK" (away from keyboard) we can already perceive the reality – or hyperreality – of this exhibition despite its digital incarnation. We recognize how the mediation of this art-specific site is both a gesture towards a possible future physical exhibition as well as an actual physical exhibition in the present, distributed to the screens of an internet audience. The Tosso Pavilion exists in an ambiguous position between the real and the hyperreal.
The Tosso Pavilion was curated by Protey Temen for The Wrong Biennale