Petros Chrisostomou, a New York based photographer, plays with scale, mass-produced and ephemeral objects, and hand-crafted mini architectural models in order to challenge the viewer’s visual certainties, and visual signifiers of contemporary mass culture.
The multi-faceted works resemble lively assemblages of what seem to be large-scaled mundane objects in exaggerated interiors – some resembling wreckage, and others referencing the extravagance of a Rococo palace.
Christosomou’s photographs become the field for mixing the high- and the low-brow, mass culture and genre painting, the luxurious and the expendable, as indications of social class distinctions. At the same time, the relations between the real and the imaginary in his oeuvre are a commentary on the mediated images of contemporary mass media that distort the natural and immediate dimension of our relation to reality, determining, among other things, the conditions for viewing and receiving art.
The relevance of this body of work does not completely rely on its technical complexities, and cultural commentary, but also in its visual power. We know that the artist is not fabricating monumental sculptures resembling stiletto shoes, instead he is fabricating small-scaled architectural spaces- that play out with the objects, making them look bigger than they seem. It is important to notice, as curator Tina Pandi points out that “the alteration of scale and reversal of the relation between object and environment, between imaginary and real space.”
If you’re a fan of Maurizio Cattelan you know that he is known for big ambitious installations that are both humorous and conceptually engaging. Sotheby’s will soon be auctioning one of Cattelan’s most famous works, Untitled 2001. This is not an easy work to display as it involves the use of master paintings and a giant hole in the ground. To their credit Sotheby’s went through great pains to present this brilliant work in its natural setting. Sotheby’s isn’t hip to embedded videos just yet but clicking on the image above to watch this behind the scenes install video will be worth the extra lick of the mouse.
Angela Bacon Kidwell’s photographs come from her long obsession of exploring how her subconscious generates dreams. She uses a variety of props and constructed sets to create images of what a waking dream might look like.
New York-based photographer Alison Brady makes some pretty bizarre photos. Pretty and bizarre. The interesting and different perspective is what catches your eye; instead of a traditional beauty-in-the-person snap, these portraits give the car-accident-look- away urge while simultaneously pushing a strange narrative inside a beautiful anonmity. Take a look after the leap.
From February-March 2007, the artists installed ‘Antarctic Village’ in Antarctica, travelling from Buenos Aires aboard the Hercules KC130 flight on an incredible journey. Taking place during the Austral summer, the ephemeral installation coincided with the last of the scientific expeditions before the winter months, before the ice mass becomes too thick to traverse. Aided by the logistical crew and scientists stationed at the Marambio Antarctic Base situated on the Seymour-Marambio Island, (64°14’S 56°37’W), Jorge Orta scouted the continent by helicopter, searching for different locations for the temporary encampment of their 50 dome-shaped dwellings. Antarctic Village is a symbol of the plight of those struggling to transverse borders and to gain the freedom of movement necessary to escape political and social conflict. Dotted along the ice, the tents formed a settlement reminiscent of the images of refugee camps we see so often reported about on our television screens and newspapers. Physically the installation Antarctic Village is emblematic of Ortas’ body of work, composed of what could be termed modular architecture and reflecting qualities of nomadic shelters and campsites.
The dwellings themselves are hand stitched together by a traditional tent maker with sections of flags from countries around the world, along with extensions of clothes and gloves, symbolising the multiplicity and diversity of people. Here the arm of face-less white-collar worker’s shirt hangs, there the sleeve of a children’s sweater. Together the flags and dissected clothes emblazoned with silkscreen motifs referencing the UN Declaration for Human Rights make for a physical embodiment of a ‘Global Village’.
Guy Laramee delicately cuts caverns through the centers of books. He carves the pages away to reveal caves that seem to be ready to be explored. His work explores the insides of books in a very literal way. Indeed, Laramee’s sculptures in way recall the plot of a classic: Journey to the Center of the Earth. And, in fact, Laramee mentions this book in his statement on the series. He says:
“Like in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, we seem to be chained to this quest. We “have to” know what lies inside things. But in doing so, we bury ourselves in the “about-ness” of our productions – language, function, etc- all things “about” other things.”