with installation art
In 2017, one of the most talked-about works seen during the Venice Biennale was Lorenzo Quinn’s Support, which was not an official part of the iconic art fair. The sculptural installation of hands emerged from Venice’s waterways and appeared to hold up an old building. His follow-up piece to Support, which has been installed with backing from London-based Halcyon Gallery, is again not officially associated with the Biennale. Constructed with white resin, Building Bridges features six sets of reaching arms with hands clasped over a waterway, meant to represent people and cultures coming together over differences.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Quinn explained, “Humanity has never grown by creating barriers. It always grows when it opens up its borders and it welcomes new cultures. Venice is a testament to that… It has been a driving force of European growth always.” The location of the towering white appendages at a former shipyard provided viewers with multiple vantage points, and at night Building Bridges was illuminated from below. A photo gallery on Quinn’s website shows the artist at work on his large-scale sculptures, and you can follow along with his new projects on Instagram.
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A recent two-day installation in Commerce, California afforded visitors an opportunity to evaluate and deposit their secret wishes. Dandelions, which was organized by the anonymous artist group The Art Department, took place in an administrative building at the Laguna Bell electrical substation from May 11-12, 2019. The cavernous space was transformed into a secret wish processing facility, where visitors submitted their wishes for questioning and analysis before receiving a dandelion to send their wish in a whoosh down a chute of either slam dunks or long shots. Writer Renée Reizman, who had a chance to visit the fleeting facility, explains the guided performance art in depth on Hyperallergic. Explore more of The Art Department’s previous projects on their website and Instagram.
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Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan work as a husband and wife team primarily in the medium of cardboard. Their soaring installations fill gallery spaces, reaching from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. The duo’s massive sculptural works are comprised of miniature homes that have been piled and stacked, creating dizzying towers of comingled landscapes. For many of their installations the artists work with students and community members to collaboratively build the cardboard structures, inviting participants to reflect on and channel their own migratory experiences. The Aquilizans moved from the Philippines to Australia in 2006, and much of their work centers around the migrant experience, and having a foot in two worlds.
A statement from NuNu Fine Art gallery in Taiwan explains, “the Aquilizans negotiate identity vis-à-vis tracing points of mobilities… Identifying with departures as a poignant tribute to all, like themselves, who have managed to make homes out of strange lands, keeping memories of the passage as the foundation of new dwellings.”
See one of the Aquilizan’s installations through May 19, 2019 in Melbourne, as part of Bruised: Art Action and Ecology in Asia at RMIT Gallery. You can get to know the artists in a 2018 interview with HAINAMANA, and explore more of their mixed media collaborative projects on Artsy.
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In Lupanar, an installation by French artist Nicolas Tourte, water flows on a never-ending path over the floor, walls, and ceiling of an art gallery. Displayed in a darkened room, the slithering 130-foot route shows a continuous video loop, which includes the rushing sound of the white-capped waves as they surge across the room. A statement about Lupanar on the artist’s website explains that the installation is meant to provoke thoughts about time and its persistent push through our individual and collective human experience.
The piece was originally shown in 2015 as part of the festival Interstice #10 in Caen, France, and was most recently exhibited at Base Sous-Marine, a former submarine base built during World War II, in Bordeaux. You can see more work from Tourte on his website and Instagram. (via Trendland)
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Artist and curator Olivia Erlanger upends fantastical ideas of mermaids with her documentation of mermaid tails emerging from laundromat washing machines. Erlanger, who lives and works in New York City, staged the tails in Laundry Zone in Los Angeles’ Arlington Heights neighborhood. The installation was conceptualized in partnership with Mother Culture, a contemporary art and media platform that happens to be based near the laundromat. “Ida” consists of (presumably) life-size mermaid tails that are covered in scales, with bifurcated fins in shades of yellow and pink.
A Los Angeles Magazine article cites Erlanger’s previous installation with snake tongues as an inspiration for the tails. And the artist explains that her tendency to work in, or create, environments helped lay the groundwork for sharing work in a public space. “Ida” was staged in autumn, 2018 and is currently making waves in a new iteration titled “Pergusa” at the Frieze art fair in New York, which runs through May 5, 2019. Explore more of Erlanger’s work on her website.
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Situated in a clearing within an Italian forest, John Grade’s latest installation, Reservoir, appears like a chandelier glistening among the pine trees. Reservoir is featured in the Arte Sella Sculpture Park in Borgo Valsugana and is made up of five thousand clear droplets each of which is delicately attached to translucent nets, supported by tree trunks.
On designing Reservoir, Grade (previously) studied the Park’s ecosystem, carefully planning the installation in harmony with the surrounding landscape. “I became most interested in the way rain falls through this grove of trees, the canopy delaying the droplet’s journey to the ground as well as how quiet and sheltered the forest was during a heavy rain,” Grade tells Colossal. “I wanted to make a sculpture that responded to the rain directly as well as a sculpture that responded to people.”
Reservoir is constructed from heat-formed plastic parts framed with steam-bent strips of Alaskan yellow cedar. Each droplet is attached to marine nets with fishing line which are then incorporated with stainless steel rings to maintain tensions and support the tree trunks above the structure. The shape of the translucent droplets are formed from casts of human hands cupped together. “We cast ten different people’s hands for variations in scale,” Grade explains.
When rain falls or snow lands the water accumulates within Reservoir’s clear pouches, giving them their droplet-like shape. In doing slow, the installation gets heavier and lowers, while in sunny, warm weather, it rises back into its original structure as the liquid evaporates. “The sculpture rises and falls with precipitation differently each time it rains or snows,” says Grade. Springs below the installation limit the vertical range of movement, so Reservoir always remains 10 feet above the forest floor.
The dry sculpture in its original configuration weighs 70 pounds, but when filled with rainwater, it can exceed 800 pounds. Reservoir serves as a water resource for the surrounding landscape: when the water it holds evaporates, it creates a humid environment for the surrounding vegetation to flourish.
Movement also manipulates the structure of Reservoir, and, as part of the project, Arte Sella connected Grade with Andrea Rampazzo, a dance artist based in Italy. Rampazzo choreographed a performance, where four dancers would interact with the sculpture, making the installation rise and fall depending on their movements. “Each tree has a cable connecting the net to the ground running down its length via pulleys which can either engage the spring limiting its downward trajectory to 12 feet of movement or bypass the spring to a second pulley near the base of the tree at waist height,” Grade explains. “This way the dancers can pull or release any of the nine lines to create varied movement in the sculpture.”
Occurring during one day of festivities, the dance lasted 45 minutes and was performed three times during the day. “The four dancers also had the assistance of four members of my studio team to help work the lines during the performance,” says Grade. Due to more control over Reservoir, the dancers brought the sculpture down to two feet from the ground, so their bodies were fully immersed in the thousands of droplet-like forms. “Because we were lucky to have rainfall, the dancers were able to abruptly jerk the movements and shower themselves with water,” Grade explains. “Now we can watch the sculpture collect and release and move over the seasons and build upon those nuances to create a second installation. Wind may become a significant inspiration the next time.”
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Made in collaboration between light artist Christopher Bauder and musician Kangding Ray, SKALAR is an audio/visual art installation that uses a large built structure and beats to create an immersive live concert. First presented in 2014 inside of the Kraftwerk Berlin industrial venue, the performance enthralls audiences with its pulsing, rhythmic soundtrack and entrancing light show.
Based on a psychoevolutionary theory by American psychologist Robert Plutchik, SKALAR is about human perception and emotion. The physical components of the installation are suspended from the ceiling. When moved up and down into different alignments, the kinetic mirrors interact with the beams of colored light and form floating halos that also bounce alternating hues around the dark room. The more ethereal sections of music are matched with slower moving lights, while quicker beats are paired with rapidly flashing patterns. Because the creators manipulate the variables in real time, no two performances of the piece are exactly alike.
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