The Festival Des Architectures Vives, of Montpellier in Southern France, is an annual exhibition showcasing new talent in architectural installation. The Festival is currently in its 7th year. Here are a few images of some of the stuff that’s gone down. Repetition seems to be a popular theme this year, as many of the installations involved in the event feature identical or similar elements multiplied a few times over. The small alcove spaces that contain each piece work really well. They restrict the work just enough to create a slight amount of tension, but don’t distract from or impede any of the installations. See more from the show after the jump. (via)
The best Intervention episodes are always the really odd ones. Meth addictions are a dime a dozen, but M&M addictions are something to talk about! Artist Rena Littleson-Montenegro appears to be drawing the usual photorealistic, tortured souls, but by pairing her subjects with bottles of ginger ale and blood thirsty toy dinos she gives the concept a refreshing and playful spin. And the extreme foreshortening really lends these binges that the-first-step-is-admitting-you-have-a-problem sense of urgency.
John Grade’s Capacitor is a site-specific installation which reacts to the climate of the site it inhabits. Located within the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, this enormous coil is roughly 40′ x 20′ x 20′ and slowly reacts to the changing wind directions and temperatures of the outside environment. Physically behaving according to statistics collected outside the institution, a mechanized controller within the installation powers the enormous coil’s shape. According to Grade, “the whole of the sculpture will appear to be very slowly breathing”. Capacitor also changes the brightness of the lights within the construct, giving an entire reaction to outside elements. (contemporist and artist’s site)
Diana Chryzynska’s photoshop-ed female faces seem surprising natural upon first sight. With most of the pieces of a normal face present, the viewer’s brain mashes them together to make sense of them, when actually they’re quite reworked. It’s fascinating how well your brain is able to reconcile two noses and two mouths sandwiched between two hands with eyes on top. Somehow, it takes a few seconds to realize what you’re seeing is completely surreal. Of course you realize what you’re looking at isn’t quite right, but it takes a while for your brain to sort out exactly what that is.
Maybe what makes the images more consumable is the appealing features: big eyes, luscious lips, unblemished skin. I don’t think it’s that, though. It’s like when you read a word like baeufitul, and your brain is able to organize it into beautiful (with some coaxing). The see-through hands over the faces are the most interesting in terms of theme. They feel like veils, hiding the strange faces from view, though not entirely. It feels like the women are hiding their mixed up faces, but some are peaceful while others are confrontational. Most close their eyes, but the confrontational ones stare out from behind their hands, self-consciously aware of their strange arrangement.
David Bayus is a painter based in San Francisco currently working on an MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. His awesome collage/painting work almost make both of those previously mentioned techniques indiscernable from each other. Which one is it??
Upon viewing the sculptor Alasdair Thomson’s flowing, dreamy garments, you might be transported to the sunlit meadows of a William-Adolphe Bouguereau painting filled with young, fresh-faced girls in flowing white sundresses. On second glance, however, the clothes reveal themselves to be carved from hard, cold marble. The artist, using hanging outfits borrowed from his friends as unusual muses, renders miraculously enlivened clothing from the durable material, dresses that seem to dance in the wind despite remaining entirely immobile.
Here, Thomson, who holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Edinburg, reinterprets the Renaissance and classical treatment of marble; in the stead of Michelangelo’s strapping David or ancient tributes to mythological heroes, he presents simple, delicate, and feminine attire. The juxtaposition of soft content with sturdy material compels the viewer to consider deeper themes, and as these cottony sculptures hang convincingly from hangers, the everyday is elevated to a level as significant and moving as ancient mythologies. Notably, the clothes are also fetchingly modern; in the place of togas, Shine carves belted jumpers and strapless gowns.
While marble art historically has usually been used to express the powerful eroticism of both the male and female body, these hanging garments maintain a charming innocence. Seen in pale white and adorned with frills and ruffles, they wait to be inhabited by a body that will never arrive; limply, they fall and strain against the hanger. Indeed, the pieces are delightful, and viewers might be covetous them, if only they could actually be slipped over human bodies. (via Oddity Central and Colossal)
The faces that Rachel Niffenegger paints are seductive. A couple of her inspirations are “an obsession for gross out humor and imaginings of fantastical death scenes.” Her combination of a beautiful palette with zombiesque ghost portraiture works. You could hang one of these over your couch, and when your family visits – they might not even notice you had a screaming skull from hell suspended in the air over them.