Heather Benning refurbished an abandoned farmhouse built in the 60s and turned it into a life-sized Dollhouse in the style of the era. Her project began in 2005, as she remade the house to be used, re-shingling the roof with recycled shingles, restoring and furnishing the house, and stood open to the public until 2013. She removed the north side of the building, and replaced it with plexi-glass, to look like an authentic children’s toy. When the building was no longer structurally sound, Benning – who has already planned for such an event – burned it down. The resulting images of the 8 year long project are lovely, although I’m sure seeing the thing in life would be much more exciting!
Benning grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. It has profoundly influenced her practice. Rather than installing in urban centers, as is the general practice of sculpture and installation artists – because, you know, there are more people to see your work – she installs in rural settings similar to where she grew up.
Benning speaks about her relationship to farmhouses:
I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. I was affected by my surroundings; when I was young, my parents would give me disused farm buildings for “play-houses.”
There was also an abandoned farmyard/house about a mile through the field on some land my father worked. In the summer months and on weekends, I would spend days exploring this yard and house, imagining what it was prior—who the people were, make up stories why they left. My sister and I would play “pioneer” based on the tales our grandmothers told us.
At times called ‘performative sculpture’ Swiss artist Victorine Müller combines sculpture and performance art to intriguing effect. Her large but airy PVC sculptures stand ghost-like, glowing in the light and disappearing in the shadows. Müller herself sits or stands peacefully inside the sculpture. The title of her most recent exhibit “Wild at Heart” sheds some light onto her work. Müller temporarily inhabits the inside of an animal – the guts, the heart, the womb, the soul. Though simple, each performance connects easily with the viewers communicating, as Müller says “something that is not said and cannot be said, but that is.”
New York City based designer/artist LA Hall is dedicated to spending quality time with his sketchbook, recording both the world around him and the world within him. For those of you in need of inspiration I suggest spending some time with his sketches or browsing his featured work on Cargo Collective.
In his installation, reverse of volume RG at the Rice Gallery in Houston Texas, Yasuaki Onishi uses the simplest materials — plastic sheeting and black hot glue — to create a monumental, mountainous form that appears to float in space. The process that he calls casting the invisible involves draping the plastic sheeting over stacked cardboard boxes, which are then removed to leave only their impressions. This process of reversing sculpture is Onishi’s meditation on the nature of the negative space, or void, left behind.
Onishi wanted to create an installation that would change as visitors approached and viewed it from outside of the glass wall to inside the gallery space. Seen through the glass, the undulating, exterior surface and dense layers of vertical black strands are primarily visible. At first glance, standing in the center of the gallerys foyer, it appears to be a suspended, glowing mass whose exact depth is difficult to perceive. Upon entering the gallery and walking along the left or the right side, the installation transforms into an airy opening that can be entered. Almost like stepping into an inner sanctum or cave-like chamber, the semi-translucent plastic sheeting and wispy strands of hot glue envelop the viewer in a fragile, tent-like enclosure speckled with inky black marks. Visitors can walk in and out of the contemplative space, observing how the simplest qualities of light, shape, and line change. (via)
The work of Korean artist Cha Jong-Rye looks like anything but wood. Her large pieces hang on the wall as if they were draped cloth, strange liquids, and geological formations. Her peculiar choice of medium undoubtedly references these and other ideas of nature and the home. She painstakingly carves her work from wood, often from hundreds of small pieces. She seems to crumple, pinch, and pull a material that’s especially rigid, typically found as a tree or house. They’re temptingly tactile – if no one in the gallery noticed I’d nearly be enticed to drag my fingers across their surface. [via]
Looking at Dawn Tan’s sculptures makes me hungry. The young Melbourne based artist is interested in how packaged food is taking over natural, organic food and how traditional made-from-scratch meals are becoming replaced by frozen/fast food. Dawn also has a fun series of performance based photography work that you can also check out after the jump.