Suspended Groups of Umbrellas, Lollipops, and Plates Swarm the Isle of Man in New Photographs by Thomas Jackson
Thomas Jackson (previously) uses man-made objects to imitate the self-organizing behavior of large groups of birds, fish, or insects in his ongoing series “Emergent Behavior.” For this project, the San Fransisco-based artist clusters brightly colored umbrellas, plates, or streamers together with the help of imperceptible filament, which makes the objects appear as if they are floating through the landscape on their own.After each installation he makes sure to recycle and dispose of all items responsibly, with no damage occurring to the environment during installation or take down.
Recently he was invited to the Isle of Man to build several new works inspired by the island’s coastline, groves, and moors. The group of images will be exhibited later this year at Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta. You can see more examples of the artist’s photography on his website and Instagram.
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This past July and August, the Creença Art Residency hosted an ambitious, multi-artist project an hour outside of Barcelona. Initiated and curated by Void Projects, a new platform created by artist Axel Void, and organized in collaboration with Elsa Guerra, Jofre Oliveras and Charlotte Pyatt, the project hosted some 50 multidisciplinary artists from across the globe to create in situ work associated with the theme of Creença, or “belief.”
Artists were invited to present their interpretation of the subject from a personal, religious, or epistemological perspective inside Konvent, a former 19th-century convent in the town of Cal Rosal. Although once home to a bustling textile industry, the location is now practically abandoned. Despite its lack of resources, the location turns out to be the perfect setting for what organizers had in mind—a creative community living and working together under one roof.
The building’s faded hallways and bare rooms were transformed into studios and sleeping dorms for guests during the summer event. The close proximity of daily life and creation made the entire setting feel particularly motivating and inspiring, and pushed all the participants to create exceptional examples of their diverse practices. The location also provided a perfect opportunity for spontaneous collaboration, which occurred both on-site with paintings, sculptures, and drawings, and with installations within the ruins of a crumbling textile factory next door.
After hosting local and national artists for two months, Konvent opened its doors to the public for a three-day exhibition. The show was a mix between a massive group exhibition and an open studio event, which provided guests insight into the process behind the varied works. To celebrate the collaborative spirit nurtured during the residency, a sister exhibition opened at Montana Gallery in Barcelona early last month. You can learn more about Konvent and its recent collaborative projects on their website and Instagram. All photos by Vinny Cornelli unless otherwise noted.
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Twenty inflatable tentacles extend from the roof and several windows of a two-story warehouse in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, making it appear as if sea monsters have attacked the former naval storehouse in an installation titled Sea Monsters HERE. The massive work is the largest inflatable sculpture ever created by UK-based artists Filthy Luker (previously) and Pedro Estrellas. It was produced in partnership with Group X, an anonymous collective of local artists and curators, and the Navy Yard which extends along the Delaware River.
The purple tentacles range from 32 to 40 feet, and curl upwards to reveal green suction cups lining their inner surface. Luker and Estrellas have been collaborating on inflatable sculptures since 1996, you can see more of their recent works on Instagram and their website, Designs in Air. Sea Monsters HERE will be on view both day and night through November 16, 2018. You can view a video tour of the installation in a video produced by Foxx below.
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Artist Chris Engman transports natural landscapes such as waterfalls, caves, and vast deserts to domestic interiors by securing large-scale photographs to the room’s walls, ceilings, and floors. “I believe photography derives its power precisely from the fact it can’t be entered, however much we may want to,” Engman tells Colossal. “When I make photographs I try to be mindful of this, even to exploit it.”
His most recent work, Containment, is his first installation which allows visitors to step inside. The work features a rushing stream surrounded on two sides by dense forest, and on the top by a branch-covered sky. Engman thinks of the work as a singular photograph, even though it consists of more than three hundred individual prints applied to the surface of the installation’s temporary walls. Although the piece can be entered, unlike his other works, there is still a hesitation on the part of the viewer. Engman explains that once one enters the work its believability as a singular landscape becomes penetrated. Each step deeper inside the work makes the photographed landscape appear increasingly warped and unreal.
“Even so,” says Engman, “compared to a singular framed photograph the experience of this installation for the viewer is much more physical and immersive. The structure is a room, not an image of a room. The photograph is an object, in addition to being an illusion. It has weight, and volume, and changes as you walk around it. Making this installation has been a thrilling process, and this new way of working seems to afford many new possibilities.”
The work is curated by Carissa Barnard of FotoFocus and is exhibited alongside several of his photographs at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio through November 18. The exhibition is a part of the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial, a photography and lens-based presentation of over 400 artists at art spaces across Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky. You can visit exhibitions and attend programming for the biennial through January 2019. Engman will have his third solo exhibition with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in February 2019.
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Shuttlecocks, Pool Noodles, and Other Playful Materials Arranged into Three-Dimensional ‘Textiles’ by We Make Carpets
Dutch art trio We Make Carpets (previously) formed their first temporary tapestry in 2009 from collected pine cones and needles, which they appropriated titled Forest Carpet. For almost a decade since, the collective has been working with ordinary materials to create visually seductive “carpets” arranged on the floor or presented vertically on the wall. Last year they were asked to create six new works and five interactive installations for a solo exhibition at the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne titled Hands On. Carpets were formed from child-friendly materials such as pool noodles and velcro, which invited visitors to create their own patterns from the provided objects.
“While making art we rely on a hands-on approach—working with the materials that you have in your hands—trying and failing until finally something beautiful emerges,” We Make Carpets said in a statement about the exhibition. “We believe the images in your head are more important than the things already known. It is fantasy that creates, not facts. We hope our arrangements of objects offer new perspectives on modern life.”
Hands On just concluded a second run on September 9 at the National Gallery Singapore. You can take a look inside the making of a recent site-specific installation for The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston in the video below, and see a more extensive collection of their temporary carpets on their website and Instagram.
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Turkish-born visual artist Şakir Gökçebağ (previously) deconstructs everyday objects, often eradicating their original functionality in order to form humorous installations. His works are created from items one might find around the house such as hula hoops, brooms, toilet paper rolls, and pairs of worn shoes. The later series of altered footwear spans more than 15 years, and has been installed in surreal arrangements both inside and out of the gallery.
For these pieces Gökçebağ chops the front toe off of neutral-toned work boots and other sturdy footwear. He then arranges the pieces in circles, rows, and parallel lines that split elevated platforms. The installations appear digitally composed, and playing a trick on the viewer as they attempt to decode the visual manipulation. Gökçebağ has lived and worked in Hamburg, Germany since 2001. You can see more of his oddly arranged objects, like this belt that has been sliced and folded to appear like a ribbon, on his Instagram.
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Indoor Installation of 10,000 Plants Considers Relationship Between Endangered Australian Grasslands and Architecture
For Australia’s Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion, curators Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright, of Baracco+Wright Architects worked with artist Linda Tegg to create Grasslands Repair, a 10,000-plant recreation of the grasslands of southeast Victoria. The living indoor installation spans much of the pavilion and extends to its outdoor space, with walkways that allow viewers to move among the 65 species of Western Plains Grasslands plants.
The theme for the 2018 biennale (which opened in May) is “Repair,” which was described in a press release as a way of considering how architecture can “play a role in repairing the places it is part of.” Only one percent of the grasslands of mid-18th century Victoria still exists— largely the result of urbanization and industrial land use — so for Baracco, Wright, and Tegg, Grasslands Repair shows the real cost of human land occupation. “The area of plants exhibited is similar to that taken up by the pavilion,” the curators said. “It is also a smaller area than that of an average Australian family house. Such an area takes around an hour to bulldoze.”
Supporting the living garden from above is an installation called Skylight, which uses LEDs as an artificial light source since the walls and ceiling of the structure block the sun. Throughout the biennale, films that explore the theme of Repair are screened on the walls of the Grasslands Repair installation, including Ground, which was created by Baracco+Wright and Tegg in collaboration with David Fox. Without the history of the region for context, the installation is just another indoor garden perfectly suited for selfies, but with the knowledge of what human interaction has done to indigenous species, it becomes a call to action to try and undo the damage we have done.
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