performance art

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Art Craft

Lucy Sparrow Opens The Bourdon Street Chemist, a Fully Stocked Felt Pharmacy

December 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Lyndsey Ingram, shared with permission

Although Lucy Sparrow is adept at treating scrapes and bouts of indigestion, her medical specialty lies in helping folks suffering from heart disease, IBS, and various illnesses caused by fiber deficiencies. The U.K.-based artist set up shop with The Bourdon Street Chemist, a fully-stocked, woolen pharmacy that’ll open its doors on January 18, 2021, at London’s Lyndsey Ingram. Over-the-counter medications like plush bottles of Pepto Bismol, Tums, and aspirin line the shelves alongside creams and luxury fragrances.

Sparrow’s medical practice, though, expands beyond the drug store with an entire surgical unit for more severe injuries and illnesses in her studio. The retro, tile-lined room is outfitted with traditional operation equipment and a woolen cadaver with compact organs, a skeleton, and even a bleeding heart.

 

Similar to her previous undertakings that filled bodegas and supermarkets with household goods, Sparrow hand-stitched the entirety of The Bourdon Street Chemist with painstaking precision, not only ensuring a variety of pharmaceuticals are available but also inscribing each tablet and bottle with fabric-paint labels. The artist established this new medical unit after converting a decommissioned ambulance into a “National Felt Service” vehicle and performing a live-felt-surgery at Miami Art Week in 2018.

Anyone who’s binged on Sparrow’s felt potato chips or wooly Sour Patch Kids can pick up a similarly fibrous remedy from the white-coat wearing artist, who stations herself in the large-scale installation. “There is something so intensely intimate in sharing your personal—and often embarrassing—ailments with a stranger. But because that stranger is wearing a white coat you feel safe and trust them with secrets you wouldn’t tell your best friend,” the artist says.

Sparrow sells many of her textured goods and groceries in her shop, and you can follow her playfully stitched projects on Instagram. (via Creative Boom)

 

 

 



Art Dance

Affected by a Central Force, Dancers Perform Implausible Bends on a Perpetually Spinning Stage

September 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

Celui qui tombe,” or he who falls, is an illusory performance from self-described circus artist Yoann Bourgeois (previously) that opens with six dancers on a spinning platform. As the central stage turns, the performers run forward to fight the perpetual motion, even though their efforts keep them in the same spot. The sextet moves easily throughout the performance, grasping onto each other and stopping in neat lines as they respond to the stage’s revolutions. As Kottke notes, the centripetal force of the platform makes it possible for the dancers to contort their bodies into seemingly implausible positions, like the acute bends shown below, and remain standing.

Bourgeois created “Celui qui tombe” in 2014 and shares an extensive collection of similar illusions on YouTube. You also can keep up with his work on Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art Craft

A Thick Braid Cascades Down a Marina Abramović-Inspired Porcelain Collection

April 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aylin Bilgiç

Despite lacking any distinct facial features, porcelain figures by Istanbul-based ceramicist Aylin Bilgiç have one unmistakable, defining characteristic: The lengthy braid resting on their oversized bodies evokes performance artist Marina Abramović, who is known for donning similarly styled locks. In another of Bilgiç’s pieces, two heads are back-to-back with their hair wound together, resembling Abramović’s 1978 collaboration with Uwe Laysiepen.

The monochromatic collection was designed specifically for Akış / Flux, an exhibition surveying Abramović’s work and offering 15 live performances. It is now on hold because of the global coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like to purchase one of the figurative pieces or a square pin, they’ll only be available in Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s shop, although they aren’t online just yet. See more of Bilgiç’s work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 



Art

A Fleeting Dandelion Wish Processing Facility Appears For Two Days Outside of Los Angeles

May 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photo: Michèle M Waite, courtesy the Art Department

A recent two-day installation in Commerce, California afforded visitors an opportunity to evaluate and deposit their secret wishes. Dandelions, which was organized by the anonymous artist group The Art Department, took place in an administrative building at the Laguna Bell electrical substation from May 11-12, 2019. The cavernous space was transformed into a secret wish processing facility, where visitors submitted their wishes for questioning and analysis before receiving a dandelion to send their wish in a whoosh down a chute of either slam dunks or long shots. Writer Renée Reizman, who had a chance to visit the fleeting facility, explains the guided performance art in depth on Hyperallergic. Explore more of The Art Department’s previous projects on their website and Instagram.

Photo: Renée Reizman for Hyperallergic

Photo: Michèle M Waite, courtesy the Art Department

Photo: Renée Reizman for Hyperallergic

Photo: Michèle M Waite, courtesy the Art Department

Photo: Renée Reizman for Hyperallergic

Photo: Michèle M Waite, courtesy the Art Department

Photo: Michèle M Waite, courtesy the Art Department

Photo: Michèle M Waite, courtesy the Art Department

 

 



Amazing

A Specially Adapted Underwater Wheelchair Brings Artist Sue Austin Beneath the Earth's Surface

November 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

British artist Sue Austin creates multimedia, performance, and installation art, using her wheelchair as a means to explore new patterns of movement. In 2012, Austin was commissioned to create a series of multimedia events as part of that year’s Cultural Olympiad, in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The result, titled “Creating the Spectacle!” is a spectacular immersive dance performance and underwater exploration, which was shot near Sharm el Sheik, Egypt by Norman Lomax of Moving Content. You can watch a portion of the film below.

In the film, Austin uses her arms to guide her through the water, and she wears a summery dress with her long hair flowing freely, as she navigates through schools of fish and past massive coral reefs. Her underwater wheelchair is adapted from a standard-issue National Health Service chair, with battery powered propellers and perspex aerofoils to control turns. Austin hopes that the adaptations will be more widely available at diving centers in the future to make diving more inclusive.

A statement on her website explains, “she aims to find dramatic and powerful ways to re-position disability and Disability Arts as the ‘Hidden Secret’. She argues that this ‘secret’, if explored, valued and then shared, can act to heal the divisions created in the social psyche by cultural dichotomies that define the ‘disabled’ as ‘other’.”

Austin first performed with her underwater wheelchair in Dorset, U.K. in 2012, and has since performed, shown films, and spoken around the world about her art practice. You can learn more about Austin and her organization Freewheeling, on her website, and watch her TED Talk here. (via #WOMENSART)

 

 



Art Design

ReActor: a Tilting House That Shifts and Spins Based on its Inhabitants' Movements

September 20, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photography: Richard Barnes & Dora Somosi

In the rolling hills of upstate New York at the outdoor sculpture park Art Omi, artist duo Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley (previously) created a fully functional house with a special slant. The project, called ReActor, is a 42 by 8-foot rotating home that balances on a single 14-foot tall concrete column. Movements inside the dwelling, as well as outside forces like gusts of wind, cause the structure to gently tilt and rotate. In the summer of 2016, Schweder and Shelley inhabited the home for five days, and their movements toward or away from the house’s fulcrum caused constant motion. Because the home is constructed with Philip Johnson-esque levels of floor-to-ceiling windows, the artists’ interior activities were visible to Omi attendees.

Schweder and Shelley have collaborated since 2007, focusing on “performance architecture,” a practice of designing, building, and living in structures for the purpose of public observation and dialogue.  Though the artists are currently residing in (presumably) more stable housing, the tilting house remained on view at Omi until August 2018. (via Yellowtrace)