If you’ve ever been in a mostly empty mall, you know how strange it can feel to walk among a space that’s only half alive. But what about when a mall is completely abandoned? That’s even more surreal. As more and more of these once-booming retail centers close, the Dead Malls Enthusiast Facebook group has mapped many of them throughout America. Adventurous photographers have captured the aftermath of of these departed spaces.
Many of these abandoned malls were built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it shows. The interiors and decor look dated, tacky, and claustrophobic compared to the open-air shopping that’s popular today. Some have fared better structurally than others. Photographs depict buildings that’ve been closed for years and have demolished ceilings and broken glass. Many of the malls have dead plants that have long since lost their leaves.
These abandoned places are apocalyptic and frightening. But at the same time, they pique our curiosity and we wish were there exploring for ourselves. (Via Buzzfeed)
Kira Leigh‘s website comes with a warning: “Many pieces deal directly with the symptoms and sisters of depression and are therefore triggering.” While on the surface, Leigh’s work may seem fun and fantastical, it is also highly personal and psychological, addressing subjects of anxiety, body dysmorphia, life obstacles, and feminist issues. Taking inspiration from gaming culture, Leigh turns the escapist pastime on its head, creating a “surreal fictional gaming universe” in which she courageously battles her real-life demons through “a self-insert mage/ alchemist” named KUURA THE STRANGE. The result is a magical mystery tour through Leigh’s psyche, where the cute meets the grotesque in the form of distorted human figures and oozing intestinal forms, turning the often difficult parts of human experience into captivating, colorful adventures.
Sigur Rós performing on the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2012
I’ve been back for a few days now from Reykjavik and still find it difficult to put into words how Iceland Airwaves 2012 was… amazing, cold, epic, windy, sleepless, beautiful? All of the above! It’s still a bit hazy to me what actually went down. Did Sigur Rós perform a new song? Did Útidúr actually play six shows? Did I fall in love with Sóley? Did the Blue Lagoon turn into the Ice Lagoon thanks to Hurricane Sandy? All of these things happened, but it still feels like a dream. So many musical highlights that it’s hard to name just a few, but when Sigur Rós took the stage at Laugardalshöllin Arena on the final night of the festival, I knew that there was no other place in the world I’d rather be. While I missed seeing Björk around town and a rather brief appearance by the Aurora Borealis, I did manage to make some new friends, eat a ton of Pylsur (Icelandic hot dogs), and discover EXITMUSIC who took my breath away at Harpa. Early bird tickets to next year’s festival go on sale December 1st and like every year, it’s gonna be sold out before you know it.
Trent Reznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig are back with a new How to Destroy Angels EP (An omen, out Nov. 13) and a new single out now called Keep it Together. I have yet to see them live, so here’s hoping they play a few dates soon. You might want to turn this one up!
Annika Frye is a young German designer making objects that are partly useful but mostly experiment. That modern cliché of “everything has been done”, or in this case, made, can be discouraging to some young artists and designers. But not everybody. Some people find in it a freedom– now that the difficult groundwork has been done, it is time to play. Annika is definitely in the latter group. Her designs are mostly about in what ways we can re-create the things we already have but in the wildest, most unconventional, and cheapest ways possible. Everything she does is at an angle– a table, made out of tape; a chair, that’s half blanket; a seat, that unfolds into a bed. Check out more of her designs and her descriptions thereof after the jump!
Dana Tanamachi brings the art of dynamic turn of the century typography to the medium of chalk drawing. Her elaborate drawings are not anything short of amazing with some coming complete with QR codes drawn in chalk! Now that’s what I call a mix of old and new! More typographic goodness after the jump!
New to the East Hampton Gallery scene is Halsey McKay, a lovely space that has presented an excellent exhibition program in the last 6 months. Last month, the gallery had Glen Baldridge and Bryan Graf come in and do their thing.The two promising emerging artists displayed a selection of prints, photographs, and installation work. Images after the jump!
The works of Julian Feeld — a Paris-based (but internationally-experienced) photographer — are shrouded in mystery. This particular series, titled La Forêt, is especially cryptic. The images immerse you in a dark, wet forest, and at first you may not be entirely sure what you are seeing — or how you feel about it. Gradually, shapes take form: a naked body lying prone on a rock; human legs splayed open amongst the undergrowth; genitals encroached by moss. Some of the images are beautiful, appealing to that romanticized idea of the “natural” body in tandem with nature; others are dark and disturbing, fragmenting the body into an inhuman shape as if it were just another dead tree lying motionless on the forest floor. What Feeld is doing here is an exercise in perception, capturing us in our own moment of subjective interpretation; we have to make sense of these photos, we have to determine whether we feel “peaceful” or “alarmed,” we have to decide if the bodies are part of what we call “Nature,” or separate from it. The critical beauty of Feeld’s work is that it reveals to us our deeply personal signifying practices.
It goes without saying that Feeld’s images are much different than your typical nude photographs. Speaking to this, Feeld writes: “For La Forêt, I wasn’t interested in taking ‘nudes’ in the classical sense, but rather in creating a sort of chimera, an impossible ‘thing’ using human flesh as the provoking visual element.” The chimera — that mythical hybird with a lion’s head, goat’s body, and serpent’s tail — embodies the sort of categorical ambiguity that Feeld is driving at; the naked bodies in his photographs are so interwoven with the environment that the boundaries defining what is “human,” “nonhuman” (the trees) and inert (the rocks) become obscured. The result is slightly troubling to the imagination, as we so often narcissistically imagine ourselves as separate from the world in which we exist.
The darkness and obscurity of La Forêt comes to a head in its sister film, Le Chien, filmed in collaboration with Feeld’s partner, Mathilde Huron. In the film, a naked man (played by Feeld) scrambles desperately at a dense thicket, panting heavily. Something seems to be barring his entry, but he continues to writhe and push anyways. Feeld explains that this film was inspired by a story told by Huron about her dog, “how she watched it try to dig itself into a giant pile of wood and debris, seeking death, pushing itself into the next world.” Like the photographs, Le Chien troubles the idea of what is “human”: this man is behaving like an animal bent on completing an unknown objective. The audio track is similarly disturbing, in that it sounds like a multiplicity of human voices panting, gasping, and overlapping in different octaves. The result of both La Forêt and Le Chien is an indescribable uncertainty; a visceral, pre-intellectual state wherein we must make meaning — or accept that there is none.
Follow Feeld’s Twitter to keep up with his thought-provoking art. More of La Forêt after the jump. (Via Art Fucks Me)