installation

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Art

Floating Black Balloons Explore Contradictions in Artist Tadao Cern's Installations

June 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tadao Cern, shared with permission

Artist Tadao Cern often considers dualities and contradictions—lightness and heaviness, minimal and intricate, inanimate and lively. He channels these relational tensions into “BB,” installations featuring black balloons that float in parallel planes and incline in rows. “These boundaries are a result of our own mental rule-making, and at the end, we surround ourselves with many limitations,” the artist shared with Colossal. “(The) notion of contradictions is nothing more but a man-made concept…A feeling of nothingness and absence of all the ideas became the objective for me.”

Based in Lithuania, Cern has brought the ephemeral project to Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Paris, Venice, and Cologne in recent years. At each site, the artist revives and replaces the balloons as they lose helium and shrink. Each time, he’s reminded of the same concept that he explains on Behance:

They represent nothing, a true emptiness. Which is felt every single time looking at the cloud of these black floating objects, eagerly waiting to be forced to react to our presence…react with no message, no notion. It’s just a dialog between us and them; here and now. Which will develop into a reminiscence of an idea once balloons will deflate and the work will become nonexistent again.

Cern releases prints of his work on Patreon, and you can dive further into his spatial projects on Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Photography

An Aerial Timelapse Captures One Million Begonias as They’re Woven Into an Ephemeral Tapestry

June 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Every other August, dozens of volunteers gather near the Grand Place in Brussels to compose a 19,000-square-foot, floral rug that blankets the central square. The massive installation is woven with one million begonias—a hearty flower that Belgium is the largest producer of worldwide—that last just four days before wilting.

Although the 2020 edition of the “Flower Carpet” event has been postponed, Berlin-based Joerg Daiber, of Spoon Film, captured the 2018 iteration in a short timelapse that shows how the vibrant tapestry is fabricated. Daiber adds a bit of whimsy to his film, though, with a tilt-shift effect, which makes all the volunteers, spectators, and surrounding architecture appear as miniatures. “The film was shot from three buildings around the Grand Place in Brussels, but most of the shots were taken from the 90-meter-high tower of the Brussels Town Hall,” the filmmaker told PetaPixel.

If you’re hoping to satisfy more of your wanderlust, check out Daiber’s similarly tiny dives into Montenegro, Burma, and Mallorca, among dozens of other locales, on YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

Gripping a Plastic Bag, A Massive Fox by Artist Florentijn Hofman Towers Over Rotterdam

June 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Florentijn Hofman by Frank Hanswijk, shared with permission

Residents of Rotterdam’s Bospolder-Tussendijken frequently spot bushy-tailed foxes roaming their streets at night, but now, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has given the carnivorous animal a permanent home in the area. He recently installed a massive “Bospolder Fox” that peers over a busy intersection in the neighborhood. Spanning 16 meters, the fox holds a pink bag in its mouth, a gesture that anthropomorphizes the wild animal, as Hofman asks, “Has the Bospolder Fox stolen something? Is he clearing up litter? Or has he just returned from a shopping spree on the market?”

While the sculptural installation juxtaposes the natural world and urban landscapes, it also serves as a reminder to residents to be welcoming, although many “have developed a certain fondness for the feral intruders,” the artist said in a statement.

The fox is an interloper, a colorful and gracious nocturnal animal that imparts a romantic twist to this story; and romanticism is a longing familiar to newcomers in the city. The inhabitants of Rotterdam come mostly from elsewhere, and they, like the fox, seek a better life in the city. Rotterdam must, therefore, keep its gates open to nature, to newcomers, and to new perspectives.

Similar to the artist’s previous projects, “Bospolder Fox” was designed to allow children to play in between its paws and serve as a sort of shelter. The animal’s vibrant fur stands out against the gray concrete underneath and nondescript building nearby, further magnifying the disparate qualities of the organic and human-made. “The nocturnal creature on velvet paws does not belong in a neat little park but sneaks through the shadowy crevices of the city,” Hofman said.

This public project is part of the artist’s series of sculptural essays, or artworks that should be read as three-dimensional narratives. Keep an eye out for upcoming installations, like this massive panda, on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Sprawling Roots and Richly Hued Gowns Permeate Mary Sibande's Postcolonial Artworks

June 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

From “A Terrible Beauty is Born” (2013), archival digital print, 43 1/4 × 126 × 3 inches. All images © Mary Sibande, shared with permission

The immensity and depth of Mary Sibande’s multi-media artworks reflect the magnitude of her subject matter, which explicitly entwines the enduring effects of British imperialism and the apartheid. Through photographs, sculptures, and sprawling installations that scale floor to ceiling, the South African artist most often features a central Black woman, who is shown enveloped in purple roots or grasping thick, black thread dangling from a nearby portrait.

Named Sophie, the figure’s role is subversive and one that sheds light on the particularly “cruel history of Black female oppression and its implications in contemporary life—in particular, perception and ownership of freedom.” Sophie is dressed in color-specific costumes resembling Victorian-era clothing and often is wrapped in an apron, a garment synonymous with domestic work. Each bold hue is rich with cultural and historical contexts.

(Sophie) is first encountered in the traditional blue uniform of a domestic servant as she dreams of the possibilities denied to her by discrimination and inequality. Sophie is then transformed into a fantastical figure, enveloped in purple representing the bitter struggle against apartheid and the promise of equality. In her most recent incarnation, Sophie wears red, the color of anger, as she gives form to popular disaffection and continued civil unrest across South Africa.

Living and working in Johannesburg, Sibande shares many of her postcolonial projects and news about future exhibitions on Instagram. Get a deeper look into her work on Artsy.

 

“Conversation with Madam CJ Walker” (2009), fiberglass, resin, fabric, and steel, 104 1/2 × 104 1/2 × 10 inches

“Conversation with Madam CJ Walker” (2009), fiberglass, resin, fabric, and steel, 104 1/2 × 104 1/2 × 10 inches

“A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1” (2013)

“A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1” (2013)

“A Terrible Beauty is Born” (2013), archival digital print, 43 1/4 × 126 × 3 inches

 

 



Art Photography

Hundreds of Photos of the New York Sky Pinned to a Massive, Spherical Sculpture by Sarah Sze

June 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

” Shorter than the Day” (2020), powder-coated aluminum and steel, 48 x 30 x 30 feet. All images © Sarah Sze by Nicholas Knight

Artist Sarah Sze explores the myriad conceptions of time and space through a tremendous, new spherical sculpture. Titled “Shorter than the Day” —a reference to Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death,” which considers the comfort found in life’s finality—Sze’s piece weighs five tons and was unveiled Thursday at LaGuardia Airport. It is suspended above an atrium in Terminal B.

The New York-based artist captures the magnitude of the upper atmosphere as it changes from bright blue morning to a vibrant sunset to the rich hues of the night through nearly 1,000 photographs of the sky. Each printed image is fastened to the aluminum and steel with alligator clips and is revealed as viewers move around the massive work, just like the earth circles the sun to mark a day. The piece was fabricated in collaboration with Amuneal.

Along with three other projects from artists Jeppe Hein, Laura Owens, Sabine Hornig, “Shorter than the Day” was commissioned by LaGuardia Gateway Partners and Public Art Fund. To find out more about Sze, whose work involves countless individual objects positioned in precise arrangements, watch her TED Talk and visit her site. (via ArtNet)

 

 

 



Craft

A Hypochondriac’s Obsession is Amplified in Mesmerizing Anatomical Mandalas Cut From Paper

May 5, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Makerie Studio

For a hypochondriac, any sense of pain or discomfort can be a point of fixation, something specifically known as somatic symptom disorder. This type of obsession inspired paper artist Julie Wilkinson to create a project that would not only distract her from this consuming condition but also bring awareness to an often misunderstood disorder. Her project is aptly titled Manifestation.

Wilkinson told Fubiz that she’s “been hypochondriac for as long as I can remember, and I have always had a fascination with medicine and the psychology related to certain conditions. This project was a way of visualizing the endless cycle that hypochondriacs often find themselves in, where every feeling is magnified, amplified, and where one little ache can turn into multiple symptoms—real or imagined—which take up our thoughts entirely.”

These layered illustrations of anatomical parts in a mandala motif were cut by Wilkinson with none other than a scalpel. The result is a visual expression of somatic symptom disorder—a dizzying array of magnified and multiplied sensations across various interconnected body parts and systems. The mandala is befitting of the meditative and healing nature of the project.

Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft make up the transatlantic creative duo behind Makerie Studio. While Wilkinson lives in New York, Horscroft is based in London. Not only are they master paper artists but they’re also set designers, who create imaginative and exquisitely detailed paper sculptures for window displays, events, advertising, and special artistic commissions. They’ve gained the attention of Google, Gucci, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret, to name a few. Wilkinson and Horscroft have developed their own unique paper techniques and are inspired by nature, steampunk mechanicals, and whimsical worlds.

Follow Makerie Studio’s magnificent paper creations and installations on Instagram.

 

 

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