“I’m just as fucked up as they say, I can’t fake the daytime, found an entrance to escape into the dark”, sang Emily Haines as Metric opened up with the first track, Artificial Nocturne from their newest record Synthetica. I doubt many of her fans would agree with her since the outpouring of love and excitement came as soon as the lights went down and didn’t let up for the whole show. I for one have been a huge fan of Metric’s music since I first saw them open up for fellow Canadians, Stars back in 2003 at the now closed Knitting Factory in Hollywood.
The laser light show over drummer Joules Scott-Key started when they played the title track Synthetica and as soon as the first notes for Dead Disco came on, the crowd jumped into a dance frenzy, not that it wasn’t before. While Emily is an amazing performer (I challenge anyone to do her trademark 80’s aerobic dancing for an hour and half), she has very few words for the crowd, that is until the encore. “I know it’s a cliche… moving out to CA to fulfill your dreams, but I’m so glad we did it… carrying gear when it’s not freezing cold… contrast to Canada… music trumps all the talking in the world.” With just James Shaw on acoustic, the pair ended with Gimme Sympathy which turned into a sing/clap-along as the rest of the band joined them onstage for the last half of the “lullaby”. Check out their new video for Breathing Underwater for a behind the scenes glimpse at what their Synthetica tour was like.
Spanish artist Javier Riera produces what he calls “light and geometry interventions” on landscapes. Using powerful light Riera projects geometric patterns on to natural vistas. The projections can appear to transform a treeline into a two dimensional plane. At other times the light seems to add strict geometric shapes to the wilderness. The light and patterns disrupt the perception of the view they cover. Riera’s transposing geometric patterns onto natural scenery partly alludes to language, matter, and the way the two interact.
Have you longed to be smart and solve conundrums like the mystery of time, space and light? But also drop out of high school, hit the juke box joint, thrust forward a double thumbs up and engage in a a semi-awkward/flamboyantly cool Kazotsky filled trademark dance like The Fonz? Well…now you can. Subscribe to Beautiful/Decay today.
Mixed media artist Travis Bedel, also known as bedelgeuse, seamlessly blends vintage anatomical illustrations with botanical or other biological images to create stunning collages that range anywhere from 5 inches to 6 feet in size. Bedel often uses glue and a razorblade to excise printed vintage illustrations, combining them into beautiful and surreal new iterations. He’ll also scan his images and manipulate them digitally because this technique provides him with more opportunity to play around with sizing, cutting, and pasting the various elements in his collages.
Of his interest in human anatomy, Bedel says, “I find the body beautiful and mysterious. I am amazed and what people can do with their bodies and how if you take care of your own body, the rewards are much greater than imagined. I believe a lot of self-healing takes place mentally and physically when you eat clean and stay active.”
The ephemeral installation Tapis de sucre (Sugar Carpet ) by Aude Moreau at Smack Mellon blocks out the majority of the gallery restricting visitors to the perimeter of the space. The delicate installation is comprised of 2 tons of refined white sugar meticulously spread into an oversized carpet embellished with Persian rug motifs. Referring to domestic comfort, the use of refined sugar within the gallery’s industrial space also aims to spotlight the overlooked and undervalued process of production.
“The adjective “refined” equally defines the matter transformed by the industrial purification process which produces the sugar’s whiteness, and the objects and attitudes selected within a cultural hierarchisation process. Through a use of the trompe-l’oeil, this installation refers back to our ambiguous adherence to a domestic comfort which systematically evacuates the realities of production.” (via)
Kevin Cooley creates Controlled Burns, a series of striking images that showcase swirling and imposing clouds of black, white, and gray smoke. Inspired by the communicative purpose of smoke signals during Papal conclave, the series focuses on ideas and actions dealing with communication, specifically human interactions with nature.
Cooley creates and manufactures the images himself, the smoke is real, and so is the fire creating it, but the artist here is rendering an image, controlling it and taking charge of something that can potentially be uncontrollable. The project is indicative of something we are well aware of, particularly our impotence yet possibility to control natural, powerful elements in our world. The paradox makes us contemplate on something we know, but do not really think about often.
Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good, and it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand. Yet, when out of control, it has the potential for grave destruction. Controlled Burns is a visual representation of this inherit duality, symbolic of our desire to conquer and control, reminding us that sometimes we must fight fire with fire.
Beginning January 11th, 2014, the Kopeikin Gallery will present Cooley’s work in UNEXPLORED TERRITORY, an interdisciplinary exhibition that explores “the limits of human exploration and our desire to conquer and control nature.” Themes range from colonial exploration of the American West, harnessing fire in the form of combustion to launch rockets into space, to anthropomorphic actions of everyday objects such as box fans, and helium balloons.