As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing the work of Elizabeth Moran.
San Francisco-based photographer Elizabeth Moran provides quite an interesting look at space and context in this ongoing series. One can’t help but enjoy the irony captured in the lack of action in these spaces that normally get so much.
The Armory documents the ever-changing sets of the pornography company Kink.com. Private spaces are constructed for a public gaze and appear both familiar and strangely foreign. Devoid of people, the spaces allude to an activity, but leave the viewer to imagine the scene.
Kink.com was founded in 1997 by Peter Acworth while he was pursuing his PhD in finance at Columbia University. Today, Kink.com’s headquarters occupy the San Francisco Armory. Built by the United States National Guard in 1912, the Armory’s Drill Court became San Francisco’s primary sports venue for prizefights from the 1920s through 1940s. After falling into disrepair, the Armory was purchased by Kink.com in 2006 and is now one of the largest adult production studios in the world.—Elizabeth Moran
“Ever since industrialization took over mainstream design we have wanted to make objects inspired by nature: from art nouveau and jugendstil to streamline and the organic design of the sixties. But our digital age makes it possible to not just use nature as a stylistic reference, but to actually use the underlaying principles to generate shapes like an evolutionary process…
Trees have the ability to add material where strength it is needed, and bones have the ability to take away material where it is not needed. With this knowledge the International Development Centre Adam Opel GmbH, a part of General Motors Engineering Europe created a dynamic digital tool to copy these ways of constructing used for optimizing car parts. In a way it quite precisely copies the way evolution constructs. We didn’t use it to create the next worlds most perfect chair, but as a high tech sculpting tool to create elegant shapes with a sort of legitimacy. After a first try-out and calculation of a paper Bone Chair, the aluminium Bonechair was the first made in a series of 7. The process can be applied to any scale until architectural sizes in any material strength. The Bone furniture project started in 2004 with a the research of Claus Mattheck and Lothar Hartzheim, published on Dutch science site Noorderlicht.” (via)
Karen Knorr’s past work from the 1980’s onwards took as its theme the ideas of power that underlie cultural heritage, playfully challenging the underlying assumptions of fine art collections in academies and museums in Europe through photography and video. Since 2008 her work has taken a new turn and focused its gaze on the upper caste culture of the Rajput in India and its relationship to the “other” through the use of photography, video and performance. The photographic series considers men’s space (mardana) and women’s space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput palace architecture, havelis and mausoleums through large format digital photography.
Karen Knorr celebrates the rich visual culture, the foundation myths and stories of northern India, focusing on Rajasthan and using sacred and secular sites to consider caste, femininity and its relationship to the animal world. Interiors are painstakingly photographed with a large format Sinar P3 analogue camera and scanned to very high resolution. Live animals are inserted into the architectural sites, fusing high resolution digital with analogue photography. Animals photographed in sanctuaries, zoos and cities inhabit palaces, mausoleums , temples and holy sites, interrogating Indian cultural heritage and rigid hierarchies. Cranes, zebus, langurs, tigers and elephants mutate from princely pets to avatars of past feminine historic characters, blurring boundaries between reality and illusion and reinventing the Panchatantra for the 21st century. (via)
Cod.Act’s Pendulum Choir is an original choral piece for 9 A Cappella voices and 18 hydraulic jacks. The choir stands on tilting platforms, constituting a living, sonorous body. That body expresses itself through various physical states. Its plasticity varies at the mercy of its sonority. It varies between abstract sounds, repetitive sounds, and lyrical or narrative sounds. The bodies of the singers and their voices play with and against gravity. They brush and avoid each other creating subtle vocal polyphonies. Or, supported by electronic sounds, they break their cohesion and burst into lyrical flight or fold up into an obsessional and dark ritual. The organ travels from life to death in a robotic allegory where the technological complexity and the lyricism of the moving bodies combine into a work with Promethean accents. (via)
The Street Hands project is the brainchild of Spanish artists Octavi Serra, Mateu Targa, Daniel Llugany and Pau Garcia who created the site specific installations as commentary on Spain’s political and economic climate. The plaster cast hands are placed throughout the city reminding passerby’s that uncertainty, danger and turmoil could be right around the corner unless they do something about it. The result is a poetic and poignant reminder of life’s daily challenges and that our future sometimes is best dealt by our own hands.
Watch a short video about the project as well as the artists in action after the jump. (via)
Inventor and designer Oliver Show belives that there just isn’t enough public seating in Hamburg, Germany. So instead of complaining and whining about it he took it upon himself to come up with a simple solution to one of lifes most annoying problems. With the help of bright colored and inexpensive padded piping Mr.Show created playful seating all around the city using pre-existing structures as support. The result is a fun and playful take on one of a kind urban furniture that makes us think “why didn’t I come up with that.” (via)
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In Cave to the Grave, Wendell Gladstone debuts a new series of paintings that depict the life of a man from his youth through his death. Referencing the allegory of Plato’s cave, the story begins with a boy immersed in darkness and continues to trace the boys’ life after he emerges from behind the curtain. Gladstone uses a collage sensibility by mining ideas and images to create his own fabricated myths. His paint handling is also diverse, a wide range of techniques are employed from very thick geometric hard edge areas, to subtle mists of airbrush, to organic veils of transparent stained color.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Amanda Gorence’s article on Chi Lei.
Red Star Motel is the clever, action-packed series by Beijing photographer Chi Lei, “Chili”, that reads like an unraveling drama brimming with sex, drugs, murder and chaos. Each scene is set in an identical divey Beijing motel room where Chili supplies us with plenty of voyeuristic moments to witness. The images are linked together through subtle visual clues that have been woven throughout, encouraging the viewer to take part and piece together the story.