installation

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Art

Interview: Swoon Speaks to Finding Compassion Through the Act of Looking and Unearthing Her Own Vulnerability

August 1, 2022

Paulette Beete

“Seven Contemplations” (2020 to 2021) at Albright-Knox Northland. All images © Swoon, shared with permission

In some ways, Caledonia Curry’s work as a public artist has come full circle, an evolution she discusses in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Curry debuted as a New York City street artist known as Swoon right around the turn of the last century, her hand-worked portraits making striking, albeit illegal, statements on old walls. Today, she harnesses that same energy into intricate—and intimate—installations set in museums and galleries.

When I look at a face for days, when I take a portrait of somebody on the street, and then I stare at that face for days and days, there’s this part of my brain that’s like, “This human is utterly perfect. I’ve never seen anything more noble and beautiful than this person.” And then I think, “You think that every time.” That’s because it’s true.

Swoon spoke with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete about how the act of looking is at the center of her practice, why she’s started to address her own trauma in addition to that experienced by others, and why her body of work to date is like a lifesaving yarn, a map of both where she’s been, where she’s going, and everything she’s learned along the way.

 

“Yaya,” Hong Kong

 

 



Art Design

A Bold, Architectural Installation Recreates an Ancient Roman Gatehouse with Messages of Belonging

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of English Heritage, shared with permission

Temporarily occupying the site of the ancient Housesteads Roman Gatehouse at Hadrian’s Wall, a vibrant installation by British artist Morag Myerscough recreates the structure that once stood on the bucolic landscape in northern England. “The Future Belongs To What Was As Much As What Is” is a bright, architectural reinterpretation of the 2nd-century building, reaching the same 8.5 meters high and 12.5 meters wide as the original construction.  A staircase tucked inside the scaffolding allows visitors to climb to an upper outpost and look over the landscape, offering a view that’s been unavailable for the last 1,600 years.

To create the patchwork, typographic facade, Myerscough collaborated with community members and poet Ellen Moran. Each panel is bright and geometric, and while some reference artifacts found on the site, many contain messages relating to borders, connecting the historic landmark that once defined the edge of the Roman empire to contemporary immigration issues. “We hope that placing such a bold contemporary art installation in this ancient landscape will not only capture people’s imagination but maybe also challenge their ideas of what the wall was for. Not just a means to keep people out, but a frontier that people could— and did—cross,” says Kate Mavor, the chief executive of English Heritage.

The installation opens on July 30 to coincide with the wall’s 1,900th anniversary and will be up through October 30. (via Dezeen)

 

 

 



Art History Illustration Photography Science

A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Carl Chun, Polypus levis, from Die Cephalopoden (1910–15), color lithograph, 35 × 25 centimeters. Image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library/Contributed by MBLWHOI Library, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library, Massachusetts. All images © Phaidon, shared with permission

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth’s surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface.

Spanning 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World brings together a broad array of images and information ranging from ancient nautical cartography to contemporary shots from photographers like Sebastião Salgado and David Doubilet. The volume presents science and history alongside art and illustration—it features biological renderings by Ernst Haekcl, Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, and works by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama—in addition to texts about conservation and the threats the climate crises poses to underwater life.

Ocean will be released this October and is available for pre-order on Bookshop. You also might enjoy this volume devoted to birds.

 

NNtonio Rod (Antonio Rodríguez Canto), Trachyphyllia, from Coral Colors, (2016). Image © NNtonio Rod

Jason deCaires Taylor, “Rubicon” (2016), stainless steel, pH-neutral cement, basalt and aggregates, installation view, Museo Atlántico, Las Coloradas, Lanzarote, Atlantic Oceanl. Photo courtesy of the artist

Christian Schussele and James M. Sommerville, Ocean Life, (c.1859), watercolor, gouache, graphite, and gum arabic on off-white wove paper, 48.3 × 69.7 centimeters. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Duke Riley, #34 of the Poly S. Tyrene Maritime Collection (2019), salvaged, painted plastic bottle, 30.5 × 18.4 × 7.6 centimeters Image courtesy of Duke Riley Studio

Nicolas Floc’h, Productive Structures, Artificial Reefs, -23m, Tateyama, Japan, (2013). Image © Nicolas Floc’h

 

 



Art

Two Curtains of 30,000 Prescription Lenses Cast a Distorted Water-Like Glimmer Across a Beijing Gallery

July 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of PIKOU, shared with permission

Suspended from an undulating metal rod, two translucent patchwork curtains of prescription eyeglasses evoke the gleaming shimmer of a waterfall. The disorienting installation is the second in a series of optical works by Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett (previously), who created a smaller kinetic piece centered around the concept of collective vision back in 2015.

Larger in scale and greater in material than the first, “And Between Us, An Ocean” utilizes 30,000 recycled polycarbonate plastic lenses sourced from a Beijing factory and Calgary recycling center. The dual installation bisects a gallery at Times Art Museum and distorts the space as visitors move amongst the glimmering curtains. A pixelated, contorted view emerges through the various prescriptions in each lens, skewing perspectives and proposing questions about the relationship between single and shared vision. Brown and Garrett write in a statement:

What faint ghosts are carried by such intimate objects—windows on the world for the audience of one? How is our shared reality shaped by so many perspectives of the same place and time? Removed from their original purpose, the eyeglass lenses implicate something specific about the mass and scale of our human experience, and the power of our desire to see the world (and each other) more clearly.

“And Between Us, An Ocean” is on view at the Beijing museum through September 12 before it travels to its next location. See the process behind the construction, which happened between Canada and China, and find more of the pair’s ocular works on their site.

 

 

 



Art

Radiant Installations and Projections Illuminate Sydney’s Architecture for an Annual Light Festival

June 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Vivid Sydney, shared with permission

Following a two-year hiatus, Vivid Sydney (previously) returned this May with a spectacular display of light and color. The annual month-long festival brings an array of installations, sculptures, and projections to the Australian city, and this year’s iteration included Lighting the Sails, a vibrant series of works by Aboriginal Martu artists that illuminated the Sydney Opera House with kaleidoscopic patterns, and a color-blocked animation on Customs House by Ken Donne. In 2023, Vivid Sydney will run from May 26 to June 17, and you can follow updates on that event on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Vivid Spectrums of Color Radiate from Chris Wood’s Intricate Installations of Dichroic Glass

June 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

“Light,” says Chris Wood, “is the purest form of radiance.” The Cambridgeshire-based artist is known for her dazzling installations made of dichroic glass—this transparent material produces a shifting spectrum of color depending on the viewpoint—that emit phenomenal prisms when illuminated. Often arranged on a panel or wall, the works evoke organic patterns, like helices, murmurations, and in the case of Wood’s most recent piece, the spiral of a nautilus shell.

A commission from the beauty brand Clé de Peau Beauté in celebration of its 40th anniversary, this new rainbow-like installation revolves around that milestone. “There are 40 spirals, each with 40 dichroic elements to them. Embedded within each spiral is the number 40, written in binary code. The dichroic pieces will project 40 millimeters from the surface of the artwork. The outermost circle measures 1,600 millimeters in diameter—the square root of which is 40,” Wood (previously) says.

This incredibly intricate design also references the earth, moon, and sun through the three more prominent rings and expands on the intrinsic connection between the mathematical and natural. She explains:

I see this artwork as an interpretation of how radiance, much like ideas and discoveries, start from one central point and expand outwards… The whole design is built around Fibonacci’s golden ratio, which we see in natural forms from flowers to animal pattern. I was initially inspired by the nautilus shell. It is a wonderful representation of Fibonacci’s spiral. The form of the shell is structured to provide strength and protection, and the shell itself is iridescent. We find in this a representation of how radiance can be embodied within us, as projected to those around us.

Wood currently has a few smaller pieces available in her shop, and you can explore an archive of her works on her site and Instagram.

 

Detail of commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

Detail of commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

“Ahlia”

Detail of commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

“Murmuration” (2019)

Detail of “Murmuration” (2019)

 

 

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