Andrei Molodkin’s exhibition Crude, on show at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art from November 2011 to February 2012, took the form of a laboratory environment, utilizing the materials and technology of the oil industry. As an artist-engineer, Molodkin (1966, Boui, Russia) creates a complex mechanical system consisting of air compressors, castiron pumps, and plastic tubing. These dynamic interconnected elements work in unison to push crude oil through factory-made acrylic sculptures that both target and subvert political rhetoric.
Molodkin takes the idiosyncratic language of the industry he is critiquing and manipulates it to expose the corruption and contradictions that lie within. Organized in Houston, the nucleus of the country’s oil production, refinement and commerce, Crude will travel to the Katzen Art Center at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C., the capital of the US government and the symbolic heart of Western politics.