We’ve all probably spent too much time watching creamer dissipate into coffee (or at least i did when i bussed tables). The interesting part to me wasn’t how beautiful and otherworldly the plumes looked, but how watching them never seemed to get old. Italian photographer Albert Seveso obviously shares this fascination and expands on it with varicolored inks which he captures with high-speed photography as they unfold underwater. Captured like this, the ink looks incredibly physical, like glass sculptures. Witnessing the transformation of substances feels like watching the cosmos themselves, which we are in a sense, and is why this is a series third graders and thirty year olds alike can get behind.
Franklin Evans examines the processes of making art—the generation of ideas and materials, their transformation from one to the other, and the many varied states in between. For this exhibition, he will present paintings, sculptures, photographs, and a sound piece in an all-encompassing environment. The wall paintings and collage environments of past installations, such as timecompressionmachine from Greater New York 2010 at MoMA PS1, have been collapsed by the artist and transferred to the surface of large-scale canvases. Mundane materials such as artist’s tape that previously played a key role as a barrier, frame, and drawing tool, are carefully recreated as trompe l’oeil representations, as the use of actual tape in the final compositions diminishes.
In the past, Evans has used gallery press releases to create a framing system presented as temporal floor sculpture. This practice has morphed into the usage of visual highlights from the artist’s gallery visits, captured online images, text highlights from books read over the past year, and scanned photographs from family albums. The viewer will discover various aspects of Evans, as an artist and a person: his childhood in Nevada, his mixed Mexican heritage, and his gay male identity. By focusing on the myriad visuals referencing the various aspects of Evans’ personae, some of these “peripheral” images remain on the periphery, while others become a focal point, as they do for indexicalmeasfocalscreen2012. The archive of hundreds of photographs is threaded to create an “image curtain” that divides the main gallery in two and which occupies an artistic space that builds on the Atlases of Aby Warburg and Gerhard Richter.
Entering this tandem exploration of periphery and focus, the viewer walks into the gallery over Evans’ sculptural “library”, an elevated floor and installation object in flux. It starts as a representation of the literal, moves to a residue of process, evolves as the ideas are extracted from the represented books, and settles into the sound piece 1967 in the main gallery room. 1967 consists of 350 fragments from his readings in the past year, ranging from Justin Spring’s biography of Samuel Steward, Secret Historian, to October Files’ Robert Rauschenberg. The text extractions are voiced by five performers and are played on random shuffle. Operating in the slippery non-linearity of memory, 1967 takes us back to Evans’ birth year. Eyesontheedge is on view at Sue Scott Gallery in NYC until April 15th, 2012
A mesmerizing, surreal experience awaits anyone entering the Japan Pavilion at this year’s Venice Art Biennale. In a stunning installation called “The Key in the Hand,” artist Chiharu Shiota has filled a room with webs of red yarn. Suspended from the ceiling, the yarn is tied together so densely that it filters out the lights above. Hanging from the mass are over 50,000 keys collected from people all over the world. Like dark, frozen drops of rain, they appear to spill from the stringy red “clouds” into two weathered boats below, creating a dual sense of breathtaking movement and suspended time.
Despite their seemingly simple utility, keys are intimate objects that we all carry to keep ourselves—and the things we love—safe. Invested with our deep trust and passed between hands over time, keys symbolically bind us together. The Curator’s Statement for “The Key in the Hand” eloquently describes this further:
In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. (Source)
The keys represent a collection of human feelings, while the yarn visualizes their immaterial connections across time and space. Furthermore, while far removed from their international owners and original purposes, the keys also embody emotions and memories on a transcultural, transnational scale, as they are webbed together without perceptible distinctions of race, class, gender, or nation. As all the keys fall perpetually into the same ancient boats (which are described as “two hands catching a rain of memories”), Shiota’s installation beautifully visualizes a global form of connection spanning borders and generations. (Source). As the Curator’s Statement movingly concludes:
I look forward to watching as The Key in the Hand, an installation that forges a link between a space made up of keys, yarn, and two boats, and photographs and videos of children, transcends national, cultural, linguistic, and political contexts, and emotionally arouses countless visitors from all over the world. (Source)
Dissolving Europe is the latest public art intervention series by Berlin-based street artist Vermibus. Using a hacked inter-rail ticket, he has been traveling Europe with an extensive set of billboard-lock keys, using them to illegally access print billboards and advertisement frames. Once opened, he uses various solvents and paints to alter the images, sometimes removing them entirely, and even cutting and pasting others. this process destroys and beautifies, blurring the already transgressive line of advert-hacking public art interventions. The artist states, “By using the advertising space and how the human figures are represented in that space, Vermibus is removing the masks that we wear and is criticizing advertisement which takes away a person’s identity to replace it by the one of the brand.”
Continued from his website, documenting the process, “Vermibus regularly collects advertising posters from the streets, using them in his studio as the base material for his work. There, a process of transformation begins. Using solvent, he brushes away the faces and flesh of the models appearing in the posters as well as brand logos. Once the transformation is complete, he then reintroduces the adverts back into their original context, hijacking the publicity, and its purpose.” (via lizartblog)
Slightly gory yet somehow charming and fun, SEKDEK is part performative, part sculptural, part photographic, and part ritualistic. The artists behind the work refer to it as a “spirit extraction kit/ demon extraction kit.”
The project, in their own words,
“is a series of fantastically colorful, expressive & psychedelically gory sculptured head and torso images that were caught using an expressionistic painting/ messy visual chaos technique that includes throwing, spreading and or spitting clay, acrylic paint, glitter, fake blood, wigs, fabrics and flour etc.. all over ourselves.”
The inspiration for SEKDEK comes from a large spanning vat of various sources. To name a few, the project takes visual cues from artist such as Mathew Barney, Björk, and H.R. Giger (the guy responsible for the creature from Alien [which he won an Oscar for] and apparently also the inspiration for “biomechanical” tattoos). They also name film influences such as the 1990 dark fantasy horror film Nightbreed, the 1988 satirical sci-fi movie They Live, and the opening scenes from Where The Wild Things Are. Also the heavy metal band Gwar (still not sure if this band is a joke or not) and images from National Geographic tribal indigenous documentaries.
Extensively absurdist yet clever and elaborate, SEKDEK is a unique project that invites imaginative thinking as it lives between the borders of fetish, gore, kitsch, and perhaps just plain ol’ innocent fun.
London based artist Rachel Dein creates fossils from everyday objects. She allows herself to preserve tangible pieces of the present as keepsakes for the future. The simplicity of the work adds to its honesty and preciousness. Dien studied as a propmaking apprentice at the English National Opera, giving her quite a extensive knowledge of object creation. Her “fossil” project began with the desire to preserve a sentimental bouquets of flowers. Her process has now blossomed into a practice of creating beautifully adorned tiles. She takes cherished, perhaps fleeting, objects and allows them to exist eternally. Her work is created with a fairly basic form of casting, yet allows her to capture delicate and intricate details. She learned the process from a glass blowing class in art college, during which she was told to press shapes into wet sand and pour molten glass over the impression. After that, she began experimenting with clay, plaster and paint, and found her way to the tile making process she uses today. Each of the molds she creates can only be used once, and therefore each piece is a unique, personalized object. Her work is undoubtedly graceful, and in a slight sense, almost whimsical. The process of casting has a long history, and despite her creating in the preset, her objects tend to feel as if they have come from a deep rooted past, truly capturing the feel of being a “fossil.” (via deMilked)
In an attempt to finally stop the social stigma surrounding HIV, the German magazine Vangardist has printed over 3000 copies of their latest issue in a special ink infused with HIV+ blood. The blood was taken from 3 different volunteers who are living with the virus, and combined with printing ink at a ratio of 28 parts ink, to 1 part blood. Scientists at Harvard and Innsbruck Universities have come up with a unique way of mixing the two substances, and are certain the hard copies of the magazine carry no risk of infection. Even with all the assurances of the paper being perfectly safe to handle, the concern surrounding HIV is still worrying some critics. It would seem the attitude to the HIV virus is not so different to those of 30 years ago.
Julian Wiehl – the Publisher and CEO of Vangardist recognizes this and thought they could help inform people on the touchy subject. He says:
The editorial team at Vangardist is committed to dealing with a wide variety of topics affecting our readers. We believe that as a lifestyle magazine it is our responsibility to address the issues shaping society today. With 80% more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than 10 years previously, and an estimated 50% of HIV cases being detected late due to lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus. This felt like a very relevant issue for us to focus on not just editorially but also from a broader communications stand point. (Source)
The launch of the Spring issue was designed to coincide with the Life Ball – one of the most important HIV events in the world, held in Vienna. The magazine has been available to subscribers since April 28th, and there is an online campaign that aims to breakdown the taboo. Be sure to read more about it here. (Via Fastcodesign)