performance art

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Art

Human Limbs Mysteriously Emerge from Marble Slabs in Milena Naef’s Performative Sculptures

June 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs by Lisa-Marie Vlietstra and Alice Trimouille

Milena Naef juxtaposes the manufactured shapes of marble slabs with the organic forms of the human figure in her performative sculptural works. In her series ‘Fleeting Parts,’ the artist removes portions of Cristallina marble to create openings that are perfectly shaped to allow arms, legs, and torsos to emerge.

Naef, who lives and works in Amsterdam, describes her work in a statement: “Once tangible, the interaction with the concrete material allows for a space to ‘open’ in which a given context can be changed. The body itself with its physical presence and its absence becomes a vital aspect of the work. When do structures inhibit or liberate us and our physical form? What is the consequence of the fact that our bodies are always ‘filling space’?”

The artist’s solo show is on view through August 20, 2018, at Studio Oliver Gustav in Copenhagen, and she will also be exhibiting work at the Garage Rotterdam museum from August 31 to October 28, 2018. You can see more of her work on Instagram. (via I Need A Guide)

 

 



Art Dance

Dancers Demonstrate the Perpetual ‘Mechanics of History’ in a Performance by Yoann Bourgeois

October 26, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Visitors to the Panthéon in Paris earlier this month have been encountering an unusual sight. For about ten days in October, multi-disciplinary movement artist Yoann Bourgeois installed a rotating circular stairway with a discrete trampoline at its center, and a small cast of anonymously clothed dancers trudged up the steps, each one falling in succession onto the trampoline and seamlessly rebounding back on to the stairs.

The installation was strategically placed over the Panthéon’s Foucault Pendulum, which was devised by French physicist Léon Foucault and offers an easy-to-understand demonstration of Earth’s rotation. Commonly replicated at science museums around the world, the Panthéon’s pendulum has been the most well-known since its inception in 1851. According to co-producers Théâtre de la Ville, Bourgeois’s work is a meditation on Earth’s gravity.

Entitled ‘La mécanique de l’Histoire’ (The Mechanics of History), the performance is a part of the Monuments En Movement series at the Panthéon. Video by Tony Whitfield.

 

 



Art

Living Works That Flatten Three-Dimensional Scenes Into Two-Dimensional Photographs by Alexa Meade

May 25, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images © Alexa Meade

Flattening three-dimensional installations into two-dimensional images, Alexa Meade compresses reality by covering models in specifically applied paint, making sure to focus on painted shadows and highlights to transform her posed subjects into paintings. Meade’s works, which she has referred to as “reverse trompe l’oeil” combine installation, painting, photography, and even performance, as many of her works are done live and with little room for error. Mistakes made during her painting process however, often add to the overall dynamism of the piece, creating an aesthetic tension for each of her living works.

“There are so many things going on at once in my process that something is always bound to go wrong,” Meade recently told Colossal. “Having to problem solve in the moment and hack together a solution will typically result in me bringing something new and fresh to the painting that I didn’t intend or expect. The artwork often turns out so much better than I had originally envisioned.”

Often these errors are due to the fact that Meade is creating her works on live models, and unlike swathes of canvas, her medium has interests, personalities, and needs which influence the work. “If you are a painter painting on canvas you don’t have to care about its feelings or emotions,” said Meade, “the canvas doesn’t have to go to the bathroom.”

Meade didn’t always start out as an artist, in fact she studied politics and worked in Washington D.C. before experimenting with her current practice. “I discovered my method completely by accident,” said Meade. “Then I had to actually teach myself out to paint.” Now Meade is a represented artist in three countries and is often asked to do live painting performances, such as this month during FORM Arcosanti, an outdoor micro arts and music festival which we attended with WeTransfer and came across Meade’s work. You can see more of her process and images on her Facebook and Instagram.

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Alexa Meade’s live painting during FORM Arcosanti, base makeup by Josephine Lee

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Art

Two Artists Live and Work on a Giant Rotating Hamster Wheel for 10 Days

March 6, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by Scott Lynch courtesy Gothamist

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Photo by Scott Lynch courtesy Gothamist

Artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley have constructed a giant wood hamster wheel with a 25-foot-diameter where the duo are currently living and working for 10 days until March 9 at the Boiler in Williamsburg, Brookyln. Why? Because …art! Titled In Orbit, the piece is a continuation of numerous installations where the artists live together in public spaces including Counterweight Roommmate and Stability which they refer to as “architectural performance pieces.”

For In Orbit, the rotating house is designed so that Shelley can live on the exterior of the wheel nearly 30 ft. off the floor, while Schweder lives on the inside due to a fear of heights. Through coordinated movements the pair can rotate the wheel to access beds, desks, chairs and even a kitchen-bathroom combo. You can learn more over at Gothamist and Peirogi Gallery. Photos and video by Scott Lynch. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Photography

Just the Two of Us: Portraits of Cosplay Enthusiasts in their Homes by Klaus Pichler

November 1, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Just the two of us, Klaus Pichler, 2013

Just the two of us, Klaus Pichler, 2013

We’re less than a day past October 31st and it would be reasonable to assume the people depicted in these portraits are wearing Halloween costumes, but they’re not. In his ongoing series of portraits titled Just the Two of Us, photographer Klaus Pitchler gained access to the homes of Austrian costume play (cosplay) enthusiasts where he photographed the elaborately costumed individuals against the backdrops of their everyday life. Via his artist statement:

Who hasn’t had the desire just to be someone else for awhile? Dressing up is a way of creating an alter ego and a second skin which one’s behaviour can be adjusted to. Regardless of the motivating factors which cause somebody to acquire a costume, the main principle remains the same: the civilian steps behind the mask and turns into somebody else. ’Just the Two of Us’ deals with both: the costumes and the people behind them.

While the costumes are incredible, terrifying, and laughable, it’s the strange juxtaposition of ordinary home life and the unknown identities of each individual that create such great images. See much more here. All images courtesy Klaus Pichler. (via Beautiful/Decay)

 

 



Art

Beautiful Thoughts: Artist Lisa Park Manipulates Water with Her Mind

June 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Conceptual artist Lisa Park has been experimenting with a specialized device called a NeuroSky EEG headset that helps transform brain activity into streams of data that can be manipulated for the purposes of research, or in this case, a Fluxus-inspired performance art piece titled Eunoia (Greek for “beautiful thought”). Park used the EEG headset to monitor the delta, theta, alpha, and beta waves of her brain as well as eye movements and transformed the resulting data with specialized software into sound waves. Five speakers are placed under shallow dishes of water which then vibrate in various patterns in accordance with her brain activity.

While the system is not an exact science, Park rehearsed for nearly a month by thinking about specific people whom she had strong emotional reactions to. The artist then correlated each of the five speakers with certain emotions: sadness, anger, hatred, desire, and happiness. According to the Creator’s Project her hope had been to achieve a sort of zen-like state resulting in complete silence, however it proved to be ultimately unattainable, a result that is actually somewhat poetic.

It’s important to note that artists have long been using EEG devices to create “music with the mind”. Composer and experimental musician Alvin Lucier had a somewhat similar performance called Music for Solo Performer back in 1965. Read more about Euonia over on the Creator’s Project. (via booooooom)

 

 



Art

Mädir Eugster Perfectly Balances a Feather Atop 14 Giant Branches

March 3, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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When you first begin watching this clip from Japan’s Kamiwaza 2013 talent show, you’ll notice a fair amount of dramatic lighting, deep breathing, and plenty of showmanship from Swiss performer Mädir Eugster of the Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque. He carefully rests the feather on a small tree branch and then grabs another slightly larger stick and another and another. Fast forward ten minutes and the act miraculously continues, sweat pouring from the top of Eugster’s head down his bare back until a series of 14 enormous sticks zig zags from the performer’s lifted arm like a massive wooden Calder mobile. If you have any doubt of how precarious this might be, wait until the very end when he removes the feather. I’ve also included another video above of Lara Jacobs (Eugster’s daughter!) of Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna performing the same act. Pretty amazing.