Wearing a bright orange dress and armed with scissors, German artist Nezaket Ekici is tethered to the ceiling of a room via her hair. Long ropes act as handcuffs and are tied to the ends of her long brown strands. The only way out? To cut the strings or hair. Her performance, titled Atropos, was first presented in 2006 and again in 2008. It used 100 ropes, 100 hairlines, and 100 pitons (a type of metal spike) and lasted one hour.
We see that during Atropos, strings and hair are cut and dangle over Ekici’s eyes and other pieces of rope. At its core, it’s the act of freeing oneself from the ties (literally) that bind. In a statement about the work, posted on the Celeste Network:
She carries out an act of the self-liberation, while she frees herself with the help of a sissle from long ropes fastened at the roof and to the hair. She cuts off a part of her hair and in this way dissociates herself from a piece of herself. This work can be seen as a vital discussion about the question on the sense of life, that is partly characterised by striving for freedom. Particularly, because hair can be considered as a symbol of life.
This piece’s title comes from the Greek myth of the Moirai who are the goddesses of fate. The statement further explains:
Atropos, who is one of them splits according to the myth the fate threads of the life with a sissle. The artist shows with the radical act of the hair-cut a way out. She takes fate into her own hands and frees herself, like Atropos did. At least the act of the cutting can be seen as an attempt of liberation in itself. (Via Sweet Station)
We have featured the work of Spanish artist Bubi Canal on the blog in the past (here). He currently lives and works in New York City and continues to produce larger than life photographs steeped in surrealistic whimsy. He has recently updated his website with new images, video, and plastic sculpture that exude childlike wonder. In his own words Canal aims to highlight “…wishes, dreams, magic and love” and we are excited to watch his imaginative world expand.
“I knew from a fairly early age, about 15 or so, that I wanted to be an artist. The problem was, my father was a detective in the police. In his view, artists were almost as suspect as criminals”, explains Austrian artist Edwin Wurm. He obviously withstood his father’s objections to his artistic ambitions and followed his vocation. Good for him and for us, because Edwin Wurm is now one of the most successful contemporary artists in the Northern hemisphere.
Alex Lukas‘ Recent Works show at Steven Zevitas Gallery (April 19th-June 2nd 2012) in Boston consists of five new large-scale paintings on paper (the largest measures at twelve feet in length) and a group of work utilizing appropriated book pages. This body of work continues the Lukas’ exploration of our current cultural condition through the lens of the landscape. Executed primarily in ink, acrylic, watercolor and gouache, the artist also uses the process of silk-screening for certain elements of each work. Thomas Cole’s well-known painting “River in the Catskills,” which depicts a pastoral landscape with a small train slicing through the scene in the middle ground, is a harbinger of things to come in the story of man’s attempt to gain control of nature. In many ways, Lukas’ landscapes, which combine sites real and imagined – with a healthy nod towards Hollywood and art history – tell the end of the story, as man-made structures yield back to nature. The works pivot on series of dichotomies: violence and quietude; the man made and the natural; hope and a profound sense of despair. They also grapple with ideas about national morality and societal fragility.
I came across this John Galliano couture collection from 2006 and couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve been thinking about the great question of war & peace ever since hearing snippets from a rare house debate on the subject on NPR the other day. I don’t really have any answers on the state of the nation….apart from presenting Galliano’s bedraggled mud-slang revolutionary rockers doused in oil make-up, flip-flops, Galliano branded life vests (?), Michael Jackson-inspired spike shoulder pads and fake beards. Is Galliano lampooning the ridiculously luxe couture high-fashion world? Or our mythological idealizations of fighting desperados? Perhaps Mad Max is upon us.
Designer Armin Blasbichler‘s work is often jarring. His series ORSON, I’m Home strikes a special chord, though. The series is composed of three “dining sculptures” created primarily from the bodies of various farm animals. While we may be more accustomed to farm animals adorning plates on the furniture, seeing them as taxidermy furniture makes for a surreal juxtaposition. The furniture confronts its users with the consumption it usually facilitates. Interestingly, for the series Blasbichler features a quote from professor and writer Don Slater: “In talking of modern society as a consumer culture, people are not referring simply to a particular pattern of needs and objects […] but to a culture of consumption.”