Noa P. Kaplan is a visual artist living in Los Angeles, California. Last year I had the pleasure of walking through Kaplan’s giant dust bunny, installed at UCLA. It was a weird feeling, feeling both small and large at the same time… Her larger body of artwork examines the impact of technology on production processes, material structure, and scale. This piece in particular, however, is specifically interested in providing a new scale to something small, a dust bunny, in order to design new associations and emotional connections with the clump of dust that we would otherwise sweep under the rug in disgust. The artist explains the context of this piece so beautifully: “Though mundane, a dust bunny bears unexpected symmetry to the most complex and baffling systems, such as the accretion of cosmic matter or the organization of memories in the brain.”
The installations of Katharina Grosse are disorienting in scale, color, and material. Her use of color is wild bordering on violent. Brightly colored paint is sprayed over any surface the artist pleases, from the floor to walls and windows. Huge heaps of painted dirt fill the gallery space transforming the space from an architectural to a geological one. The dirt, paint, and various objects seem to intentionally undermine the white box that houses the installation. Her installations raucously question the very space they inhabit by allowing visitors experience it in a transformative way.
Rachel Whiteread’s architectural installations are recognizable objects made with unexpected materials. A door made of resin that appears translucent pink, or a black mattress that looks like the leftover coals of a fire help to reconsider the objects possibilities and meanings. The mattresses say two very different things in white and black, made obvious also by the way the two are installed and documented. One lying flat in the middle of a decaying room appears totally dejected and quite violent. The white mattress is propped up against a wall, giving it a lighter look, as well as the actual condition of the room being more clean and the lighting more forgiving.
More epic in proportion is her “Water Tower” (1998) that is atop the Museum of Modern Art in New York, or her installation at Trafalgar square, “Monument” (2001) where she recreated, and placed the plinth upside down on itself. Presumably the water-tower is not able to function as such, and the plinth on top of a plinth is funny as well. Both are made of completely clear material, so they’re there but not. It’s a creative way to toy with materials and the viewers expectation and reaction to them, especially in object used in a practical sense, or ones with which we are well acquainted.
Videographer Rob Whitworth together with city-branding pioneer JT Singh create a stunning flow-motion panorama of the mysterious capital of People’s Democratic Republic Of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. “Enter Pyongyang” is their another collaboration combining the stunning effects of time-lapse photography, HD and digital animation, acceleration and slow motion.
According to the creators, North Korea, which is mostly imagined as a country “immune to change”, is rapidly developing. Besides the uplift in tourism, the whole infrastructure is rising with new railways being planned and special economic zones launched. Whitworth and Singh accurately capture this shift in their video filmed with the help of Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based travel agency who provided the team with exclusive access to the city.
“As is standard for all foreign visitors to the country, we were not allowed to shoot any construction sites, undeveloped locations or military personnel. Other than that we were given relatively free reign.”
North Korean society is highly enclosed and lifting the curtain, especially for a video, is a truly unprecedented behavior. However, “Enter Pyongyang” captures the controversial reality of this multimillion capital: from its high-end golden statues and modern glass skyscrapers, to the humble and earnest citizens. The fast-paced video conveys what is essentially Pyongyang’s biggest wealth – the dynamism and energy driving it to the new heights. (via The Awesomer)
MICA 2012 printmaking grad James Bouché is doing some really dark, meditative work touching on themes of history, death, and decay. Yeah- it’s something we’d like. Bouché’s lithographs and screen prints of desolate wastelands, crumbling artifacts, and dead soldiers hit the tone pretty well. There’s almost like an arcane magic at work here, as though the artist is in touch with the ancient Mayans, transmitting 2012 death knells via ink on paper. But even if such sinister implications are completely imagined, the works’ ability to generate them in the first place is pretty special. But I’m still hoping that James is talking to the Mayans anyway. That’d be pretty cool.
There’s always something more to be said in a failed romantic relationship. No matter who was right or wrong, time allows for reflection by both parties. But, more often than not, we don’t get the chance to say our peace. Photographer Jennifer McClure offers an intimate look at these types of situations in her series, You Who Never Arrived. She explores her past relationships by putting herself in front of the camera and reimagines the situations of former loves. McClure re-stages the events in hotels, using friends and acquaintances to play the part of beaus.
This series is no doubt an intimate one, as we see the photographer’s vulnerability on display. Her perception of the past was changed in this exercise, and she explains to Feature Shoot:
I thought I was going to find out what was wrong with all of the men I dated. I had assumed that I was ready for a grown-up relationship and that I simply wasn’t choosing well. After hearing what all of the stand-ins had to say about my actions and my behavior, I saw that I always ran away when things started to get serious. I was afraid to let anyone get too close, and I much preferred fantasy over reality. I always shot before the men arrived (when I was still right) and after they left (when I was so very wrong). The most devastating photos to me are the ones I shot the mornings after.
Since everything was shot in a hotel room, the sets were always a surprise, forcing the photographer to improvise in things like lighting and decor. Combined with the improv’d dialogue, these images feel like film stills. (Via Feature Shoot)
Ben Schumacher creates art in many traditional and non tradition forms, whether it be through drawings or exploring new ways to conceptualize and present art via and about the internet with an ironic sense of humor that could only have been developed by long hours mulling over the way we use and relate to the tools specific to our cyberspace generation. Ahh, the day I’m tired of it is the day I’m dead!