installation

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Art

Site-Specific Installations Accentuate the Geometric Architecture of Mies Van Der Rohe

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

German Pavilion. All photographs: Kate Joyce

Chicago-based duo Luftwerk (previously) partnered with architect Iker Gil and sound designer Oriol Tarragó for “Geometries of Light,” two coordinated installations celebrating the architectural forms of Mies van der Rohe. Both displayed in 2019, the shows were separated by one continent and approximately eight months; the German Pavilion display was on view in February 2019, and the second installation took place this fall at the Farnsworth House outside of Chicago.

The concept was was inspired by the structure’s apparent weightlessness, as it “seemingly floats perfectly on its pedestal”, Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk tells Colossal. After an initial site visit to Barcelona in 2018, the artists decided to use “a specific tool to accentuate the clarity of the architecture with the laser level, a tool mainly used for construction sites to keep things level,” explains Backmaier. (Bosch Powertools provided the bluetooth-enabled three-plane lasers for both installations.)

Farnsworth House

For both sites, the designers were inspired by the history and context of each location. The German Pavilion was built in 1929 and demolished a year later; in 1986 it was rebuilt based on drawings. With bright red lines cutting through rooms and wrapping around walls, “Geometry of Light heightens the illusion of physical and material boundaries,” says Bachmaier. This effect also reflects the morphed history of the building, and retracing its form, from physical to two-dimensional drawing, to physical once again.

In the autumnal installation at the Farnsworth House, the artists explored the relationship between the architecture and its rural setting. “It uncovers the forgotten history of the site and remnants of earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the renowned house to its river floodplain, topography and key trees that no longer exist,” the artists tell Colossal.

Explore more of Luftwerk’s site-specific installations on their website and Instagram, as well as projects by Gil and Tarragó.

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

German Pavilion

German Pavilion

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

 

 



Art

120,000 Ribbons Wave Across the Former Footprint of the Berlin Wall in an Installation Marking 30 Years Since the Peaceful Revolution

November 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

On November 9, 1989, German officials decided to allow residents of Communist East Germany to cross over and visit the Western, democratic half of the divided country. Though the complex process of physically and ideologically reunifying the country took about a year in total, November 9th is considered a landmark day. To celebrate 30 years since the Berlin Wall began to break down, artist Patrick Shearn (previously) was commissioned to create a large-scale installation that integrated the reflections and hopes of 30,000 people.

Visions in Motion was on view November 4th through 10th in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, a location that had previously been a demarcation of division. A statement from Poetic Kinetics explained, “the artwork’s rectangular shape conjures the form of the wall; but instead of a heavy, impenetrable border, the form takes flight.” The massive installation spanned 20,000 square feet and was comprised of 120,000 fabric streamers, a quarter of which featured hand-written messages that were collected in the months leading up to the display.

Shearn is a resident of Los Angeles, Berlin’s sister city, and is renowned for his large-scale kinetic installations, which he calls “Skynets”. Tying the German installation to its sister city, the Los Angeles-area Wende Museum, which houses Cold War artifacts, invited Los Angelenos to contribute messages to Visions in Motion as well.

Shearn and his team at Poetic Kinetics are prolific creators. You can explore much more of their archive on the Poetic Kinetics website, and follow them on Instagram to keep up with their latest projects around the world.

 

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Art Photography

Large-Scale Photographic Installations by Olivier Lovey Blur Distinctions Between Two and Three Dimensions

November 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Anachronie”, all images © Olivier Lovey and shared with permission of the artist

Olivier Lovey creates large-scale tricks of the eye by installing photographs in-line with their surroundings. The series, Miroirs aux alouettes, “confuses the real and its double. I question the limits of image and representation,” Lovey explains. “I revisit the notion of perspective, trompe l’oeil and mise en abyme“. Lovey creates his illusions both in gallery settings as well as outdoors. “Anachronie” turns a roadside billboard into a reflection of the surrounding mountains, while “Pasteboard” turns a building into a hollow facade of itself. See more of the Swiss artist’s multi-media work on his website and Instagram. If you enjoy Lovey’s work, also check out Chris Engman’s immersive photograph installations. (via Colossal Submissions)

“Pasteboard”

“The Lost Dimension”

“The Beyond”

“The Error”

 

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“The Mirror”

“While Waiting for the Beach”

“Ordinary Madness”

 

 



Art Craft Design

Polish Tram Shelter’s Walls Become a Gallery for Dried Flower Designs

October 29, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A tram stop at Dabrowskiego Square in Łódź, Poland is blossoming with dried flowers, giving pedestrians and commuters a fresh view on the intersection of their natural and built environments. The project, titled “Nostalgia”, was designed by local art student Dominika Cebula, and pays homage to the long tradition of flower selling at Dabrowskiego Square. To create the floating floral installation, the shelter’s walls were replaced by resin-covered flowers embedded in 36 different clear panels.

“The idea of flowery bus stop came from willingness to be closer to nature and to juxtapose the colors of flowers with the grayness seeping out of concrete city,” Cebula explained. She notes that many of the flowers used in the project were from bouquets received by her friends and family. Installed this summer, Cebula’s project was selected as part of an initiative by Łódźkie Centrum Wydarzen and will be on view at least until the end of October, 2019. (via I Support Street Art)

 

 



Art Design

100,000 Hand-Arranged Stamps Form Complex Mosaics by Elisabetta Di Maggio

October 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In “Greetings from Venice, Italian artist Elisabetta Di Maggio used thousands of stamps to create colorful mosaics on the floor of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Di Maggio created repeating geometric patterns with the varied designs, shapes, and color palettes of each miniature government-commissioned artwork. The paper mosaics were placed below a transparent floating floor, allowing visitors to walk over the artwork, located on the fourth floor of the historic building, which has been repurposed as a contemporary shopping destination.

To create the elaborate repeated patterns, Di Maggio studied St. Mark’s Basilica’s floor and Venetian palazzi and sorted 100,000 stamps by color to prepare the designs. The artist then worked with a team of high school students to arrange the stamps in complex patterns. “Greetings from Venice” was on view in autumn 2018.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the process for “Greetings from Venice” on Irenebrination’s blog and explore more of Di Maggio’s other projects on her website.

Research and process documents via Irenebrination

 

 

 



Art

A Swedish Art Collective Handcrafts 17,000 Unique Sculptures Signifying Refugee Youth at Risk of Deportation

October 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photography: Felix Gerlach and Martin Spencer

Seventeen thousand unique sculptures are displayed in a new installation by Swedish artist collective Skaparkollektivet Forma. The group sought to draw attention to the individuality of 17,000 Afghan refugee youth whom the Swedish government plans to deport. The unaccompanied minors came to Sweden in 2015, totaling 23,500 in that year, and were fully integrated into their adoptive communities. However, the government seems to have shifted gears and has reversed its opinions on a majority of the young people.

Working with 1,500 volunteers, Skaparkollektivet Forma created petite sculptural works of art to represent each individual impacted by the planned governmental uprooting. The works are glued to 34 frames in groups of 500, which allows the installation to be easily transported and installed in different configurations.

Since the collective started working on this project, attention has been drawn to the issue, and some of the youth have been allowed to stay, but apparently the majority of the planned deportations are still set to happen. “In the debate on migration, living human beings tend to be transformed into anonymous volumes,” said Skaparkollektivet Forma told dezeen. “But we wanted to understand what this five-figure number actually represented. The installation makes the number 17,000 visible and above all shows that behind every number there is a person,” they explained. “Behind each figure there is a personality, a story, a work of art.”

The work was initially displayed at Liljevalchs art gallery, which is an independent, public gallery in Stockholm. Follow the collective on Instagram and Facebook for updates. (via dezeen)

Members of Skaparkollektivet Forma

 

 



Art

An Interactive Installation by Chiharu Shiota Celebrates the Universality of Numbers

October 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs courtesy of Muzeum Śląskie

Walking into the gallery space at Muzeum Śląskie that holds Chiharu Shiota’s installation Counting Memories, viewers are immersed in a sea of mismatched, old-fashioned wooden desks and chairs. From each desk, strands of black yarn rise up, tangling together in a dark cloud that consumes the entire upper portion of the high-ceilinged room. And within the cloud of yarn, white numbers are suspended like insects caught in an enormous spider web.

The spacing of the desks provides natural archways for visitors to pass under as they wander through the installation. At each of the nine desks, stacks of paper and pencils are available for viewers to respond to prompts such as “Which number has meaning to you and why?”, “Do numbers tell the truth?”, and  “How many memories do you have?” In a statement on the exhibition, Shiota explains:

Each number defines us individually but also connects us universally. Numbers comfort us, we share dates that are important to us, and they help us understand ourselves. Our history is collected through numbers. In this way, the intertwined string reflects our history, while the numbers, which are scattered sporadically like the stars above Katowitz, represent the most meaningful dates we know.

Shiota (previously) is a Japanese artist who lives and works in Berlin. She is renowned for her large-scale installations that incorporate familiar objects embedded within networks of suspended black, white, or red threads. In addition to Counting Memories, which is on view through April 26, 2020 in Katowice, Poland, Shiota’s solo exhibition The Soul Trembles at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo will be touring Asia until 2021. Follow along with Shiota’s new work and global travels on Instagram and Facebook.