installation

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Art

The Event of a Thread: Anne Hamilton’s Groundbreaking Installation Filmed and Photographed by Paul Octavious

January 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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It’s a deep regret that I didn’t head up to New York over the last few weeks to catch Ann Hamilton’s groundbreaking installation, The Event of a Thread, at the Park Avenue Armory. Perhaps the only saving grace of not seeing it in person is this gorgeous new video by my friend Paul Octavious who managed to catch a final glimpse of the installation before it closed last weekend. As visually stunning as it appears, I’m certainly left asking… “So what does it all mean!?” A field of swings suspended 70 feet in the air, a gargantuan white curtain attached to a network of ropes and pulleys, readers sitting at giant wooden tables reading to nearby pigeons. Via the Armory:

Visual artist Ann Hamilton combines the ephemeral presence of time with the material tactility for which she is best known to create a new large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Commissioned by the Armory, the event of a thread references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day.

To read more about the artists intent and purpose you can read her artist statement (PDF). Thanks to Paul for letting me use his imagery here, you can see more photos he shot by following him on Instagram.

 

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Art

A Wooden Domino Tree by Qiu Zhijie

January 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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The Small Knocking Down the Big is a 2009 installation by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie made from hundreds of cut wooden dominoes meant to loosely demonstrate the effects of something that has become known as Domino Magnification (if you really, really enjoy physics see the recent work of J. M. J. van Leeuwen). The basic premise is that any domino can knock over another domino that’s roughly 1.5 times larger, meaning that if you gently pushed a normal sized domino into a chain of bricks that increase in size each time by 1.5, the 32nd object will be large enough to topple the Empire State Building. In the video example above it takes only 13 dominoes starting with an object the size of a bean to knock over a 100 lb. slab!

Zhijie’s installation is somewhat less mathematical and more visual, but the same mathematical principles hold true. Participants are invited to knock over the small dominoes at the outer branches of the installation which eventually gain enough momentum to knock over the thicker blocks at the trunk. (via lustik)

 

 



Art

‘Stacked’ by Ai Weiwei: 760 Stacked Bicycles at Galleria Continua

January 9, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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As part of his first exhibition at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, artist Ai Weiwei (previously) has installed 760 stacked bicycles in a sprawling installation on a raised stage within the gallery. It’s important to note that the bikes are not simply “stacked” but have been physically attached creating a single cohesive structure which can be explored from within, similar to his 2011 work Forever Bicycles. The exhibition is comprised of several sculptures, installations, video and photographs from the Chinese artist who was bestowed last May with the inaugural Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation. Last year Weiwei was also the subject of the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry directed by American filmmaker Alison Klayman, which follows the artist through several nasty scuffles with Chinese authorities while he creates several new provocative artworks and organized social actions. Easily one of the best documentaries of 2012 and I highly recommend it (stream it on Netflix).

The exhibition at Galleria Continua is on view through February 16th, and you can see many more images here. All imagery above was provided courtesy Galleria Continua.

 

 



Art

A Giant Synthetic Crystal Explodes Through Gallery Floors at the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore

December 31, 2012

Christopher Jobson

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Points of Contention is a 2011 installation by Jonathan Latiano that was installed in a gallery space at the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore. The piece features an explosive crystal growth protruding from a rippling gallery floor that is meant to call into question the continued production of plastics, resins and polymers and their long-term impact on the geological landscape around us. Via a press release for the exhibition:

Driven by the exploration of time, motion and the physics of the natural world, Jonathan Latiano presents Points of Contention, a site-specific installation sculpture that investigates the increasingly blurred line between the organic and inorganic as well as the spatial boundaries of where the spectacle begins and ends. Convergent forms of crystalline growth and explosive impact reinforce the hundreds of shards of custom cut and painted elements used to create the centerpiece of the exhibition. Through the use of reclaimed and altered wood, plastic, Styrofoam and site-grown salt crystals Latiano explores the question: At what point do the controversies of the present become the “new norms” of the future?

Latiano will return to School 33 Art Center in September of 2013 as part of a collaboration with artist Jennifer Strunge who is known for her creation of totally bizarre and wonderful cotton monsters. Can’t wait to see what the two do together!

If you liked this piece, also check out the work of Chris Whiteburch, and the Inversion House by Dan Havel and Dean Ruck. (via razorshapes)

 

 



Art

Face Your Fear of Heights by Walking on Air in this Massive Translucent Aerial Structure by Tomás Saraceno

December 27, 2012

Christopher Jobson

If staring out of windows from the top of a tall building makes your palms sweat, this might not be for you. On Space Time Foam at HangarBicocca in Milan, is the latest interactive artwork from Argentinean architect and artist Tomás Saraceno who has become famous for his creation of suspended environments that can be inhabited by people. This latest aerial installation was constructed from three levels of clear film that can be explored while suspended several stories off the ground at HangarBiocca, a former industrial plant that was converted to an arts space in 2004. Via HangarBicocca:

Saraceno, who refers to himself as “living and working between and beyond planet Earth”, bases his work on themes such as the elimination of geographical, physical, behavioural and social barriers; the research into sustainable ways of life for humanity and the planet; the encounter and exchange among different disciplines and bodies of knowledge; the model of networking and sharing applied to all phases of the invention and execution of works and projects. […] At HangarBicocca Saraceno creates On Space Time Foam, a floating structure composed of three levels of clear film that can be accessed by the public, inspired by the cubical configuration of the exhibition space. The work, whose development took months of planning and experimentation with a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers, will then continue as an important project during a residency of the artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT in Cambridge (MA).

For those who suffer vertigo or do not meet the proper age and medical requirements (!), the piece is always viewable from the ground floor, but the more adventurous tickets can be purchased in the event space hrough March 2, 2013. If you can’t make it to Italy anytime soon you can catch more video of it via Artribune. (via beautiful decay, designboom)

 

 

 



Art

Dozens of Cement People Dangling from Umbrellas in a Prague Office Building

December 20, 2012

Christopher Jobson

These cement figures dangling from umbrellas within a narrow space inside the EBC office center in Prague are part of a installation titled Slight Uncertainty by Czech artist Michal Trpák. Check out much more of his sculptural work on his website.