Helena Kvarnström “write[s] and take photographs and [is] interested in trees, water, bodies,
ghosts, loneliness, stillness, secrets and hidden threats,” according to the artist. And that’s exactly what her images consist of: women in the wild in striking black and white, lonely in their honesty.
“Some Pigeons are More Equal than Others” is a collaborative project from Berlin artists Julian Charriere (recent graduate of UDK in Berlin) and Julius von Bismarck (not-so-recent graduate of UDK in Berlin). The goal of the “Some Pigeons” project was to spray 35 pigeons with colorful dye using a “pigeon apparatus” that would not harm the birds. Well, they’ve accomplished their goal, and they’ve released a batch of unequal pigeons into various plazas in Copenhagen and, now, surrounding the current Venice Biennale. The pigeons almost look like rare, tropical birds, a nice switch-up from the usual. Check out more shots of the birds in action, below. (via)
In her series Winter of Love, the Latvian painter Jana Brike reimagines the The Biblical Salome, known for the seduction of King Harod and her bloodthirsty demand for the head of Saint John the Baptist, transforming the icon from infamous sinner to innocent wood nymph, small and delicate as a china doll. Subverting the religious, moral text, she creates a poignant story of intimacy, love, and sacrifice.
In Brike’s eerie narrative, Saint John is replaced by a make-believe Deer King, a creature who harkens back to medieval Christian bestiaries, his horns often serving as a metaphor for Christ’s cross and Crucifixion. Here, the Deer King falls in love with Salome, volunteering his body for her pleasure: “he keeps squandering his life forces to grow flowers from his body, for the nymphs to play with,” explains the artist. In the place of a violent, lusty, and sinful Salome, the artist presents a naive, pure-hearted child who is transfixed by her play and the beauty of flowers.
In this touching biblical allegory, love becomes sacred and tragic; the Deer King offers his head to his beloved, giving her sensual bliss in a bitter, cold winter. The season becomes symbolic of his death, until flora miraculously begins to bloom, as with the mythical Resurrection of Christ. The creative powers of the girl blossom; she is seen as fertile, emerging into womanhood, her lips and vital cheeks pink as the roses.
Using the framework of religious text, Brike’s body of work depicts a romance story where love necessitates sacrifice, where lust isn’t sinful but creative. Nurtured by the Deer King’s affections and tragic death, Salome grows into adulthood; in one image titled “Nurseling,” her dress slips, revealing a pair of milk-filled, life-giving breasts. Take a look. (via MondoPop)
In October 2012, the letters “S.O.S.” were carved into the ground of Western Sahara/Algeria near the Saharaui refugee camp Smara by Santiago Sierra. The graffiti measures 5 km x 1,7 km, which makes it the largest graffiti in the world.
The piece refers to the Saharaui peoples struggle for independence from Moroccan rule in the almost forgotten West Saharan conflict. For 36 years they have lived in makeshift conditions under the provisional arrangement of the refugee camps in the Sahara desert, south east of Tindouf.
We wish there were more images available of this piece but for now you just have the following measurements to help give you the scale of this massive piece of graffiti that can be seen from space. (via)
Scale: 5.000 m X 1.700 m
Lenght/path of outlines: 37.000 m
Marked reference points: Almost 2.000
Font: Arial Narrow
Font size: 6.800.000 pt
Area: 8.500 m2
Latitude: 27.4348919287 degrees
Longitude: -7.9418410842 degrees
Parisian artist Suzy Lelièvre makes some fascinatingly illogical and decidedly nonfunctional objects. (Unless being awesome can be considered a function?) Chief among her objects are variously contorted tables and benches, along with a set of what she calls “gravity dice.” Her appropriations of ordinarily useful items are a bit surreal; in fact, the work of another French native, Marcel Duchamp, comes to mind, who mastered the art of strange-making one overturned urinal and stacked bicycle wheel at a time.
The world of dollhouse miniatures is dominated by sweet structures with period-perfect furniture and impossibly tiny accessories. Leanne Eisen subverts all expectations with “Play” her photo series of 1/12th scale brothel, strip club and other sex trade sites. Eisen makes the pieces of these meticulously detailed scenes herself, having found difficulty in sourcing ready-made miniature condoms, porn magazines and sex toys. The spaces have a seedy, disreputable air enhanced by the details—a used washcloth hangs haphazardly over the sink, sequined shoes are abandoned on the strip club stage, and a forest of egg timers sits under posted house rules. Although Eisen had not been in an actual brothel, she researched films, documentaries, books, and photographs to create her voyeuristic spaces.
The photographs in “Play” are enlarged, playing with scale to disorienting effect. Scenes that are rendered in miniature are suddenly life-size again, with no referent of scale in the images. These are realistic spaces but they are also fantastical. No woman will ever spin on the golden pole. The cow clock in the kitchen will always read 10:10. These abandoned rooms tell their stories through their contents. She says:
I am very interested in residential spaces; the artifacts that we accumulate and leave behind, and how they tell our stories in our absence. I also find the idea of a space that is seemingly a workplace as well as a residence intriguing. In these photos, the viewer takes the role of voyeur, and can take the time to analyze the setting at a perhaps more manageable, less intimidating scale.
The series also serves as a commentary of the accepted social roles for women in a residential space. Where a traditional dollhouse might have a domestic mother figure keeping house, these spaces are intended for women as sexual objects. Whether in the sad paneled room with the pink-clad single bed or in the black walled sex chamber with its red X and metal cage, these are spaces intended to commercialize women.
Through detailed conceptualization, deliberate craft and artful photography, “Play” blurs the lines between whimsy and menace, making pointed observations about the place of women in this world.
Evelyn Bencicova’s photography is stark and haunting, which could probably in part be attributed to the headless-ness of her subjects in most of her works. The colouring is sterile, and the figures’ body language imitates the stillness of their environment. Although each naked body touches at least one other, there is no sense of sexuality or pleasure. The bodies seem like one larger, unified organism, like some strange jellyfish or starfish. They splay themselves over surfaces, as if they’ve been washed up across the desk they rigidly lie on. They are compelling because although logically you realize you’re seeing a human body, they lack any recognizable aspects. It’s near impossible to feel empathy or understanding without facial features or visible imperfections or distinguishing character. It is especially with so many clones together. The series is an interesting experiment in identifying what defines our living human character.
I want to apologize in advance for making this comparison, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m reminded of the film Human Centipede. Of course, conceptually they are completely opposite, one being completely vile and horrific, the other pleasantly vacant. Still, if the Human Centipede were instead an experimental art film, maybe it would be the Human Starfish, and the film was about a multi-human entity that slowly explored an abandoned hospital or institution, these photos would be the stills. (Via Daily Metal)