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Julien Previeux’s Video Uses Dancing Lightsabers To Show Us The Power Of Gesture

Julien Previeux - video

Julien Previeux - video

Julien Previeux - video

Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life uses dancing lightsabers to reveal the simplicity and power of gesture. This 15 minute video is a highly choreographed work whose opening section uses light to uncover the essence of human movement. Dancers wired with lights illuminate the darkness and reveal the simplicity of movement.

Part galactic warrior and part neon sign, the dancers fill the space with the linearity of their limbs punctuated by shining spheres that add curvature and depth to their geometry.

But this is just the beginning of Previeux’s exploration of the intimacy of gesture and its implication in a world shared with others. Through what looks like a strenuous eye exam, Previeux demonstrates that eye movements have the power to reveal our thought patterns and perhaps betray our inner world to those who observe us carefully enough.

Also compelling is Previeux’s fascination with walking patterns and our natural tendency to follow the same paths again and again. By mapping the route of a young Parisian woman, where she works, where she lives, and where she goes to school, one of Previeux’s dancers uses tape to create a three dimensional model. Once mapped, her movements, which were assumed to be open and carefree, seem controlled and confined.

Patterns of Life switches between time frames and points of view. In doing so it presents us with various choreographed vignettes. Narrator Crystal Shepherd Cross guides us tranquilly through the intellectual terrain with ease so we can enjoy the grace that is Previeux’s work.

Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life can be seen at DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas, in “What Shall We Do Next” until 19 March, 2016.

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Yung Cheng Lin’s Disturbing Photographs Capture An Erotic Drama

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The Taiwanese photographer Yung Cheng Lin presents the female body in unusual, erotic and sometimes absurd ways; his surreal, staged images capture a raw sensuality that oscillates between the fantastic and the grotesque. Here, women are seen initially as objects of desire, but they contort their bodies in ways that defy objectification and veer into abstraction.

Lin’s images, wrought with sexual tension, are at times uncomfortable to look at; a girl grips a box of milk, and its liquid ejaculates on and into her ear. Another woman holds a ripened, banana, which we might assume to be symbolic of the phallus, between her thighs; a finger penetrates and abstracted mound of flesh. A replica of the Mona Lisa sits between a woman’s legs, the part of hair mimicking a vulvar shape. The viewer, often seeing these female subjects from above, feel like strange voyeurs, peering into intimate rituals undetected.

Amidst Lin’s exploration of sexuality is a growing sense of anxiety that may be read perhaps a fear of female sexual power. A rose intimately penetrates a woman’s throat, and her head falls back and out of the frame as if in pleasure. But this symbolic intercourse is foreboding, dangerous: the flower is dead, wilted, and blood trickles down the model’s neck. Dead bugs infest the sets, sitting atop bananas and dangling from blood-red threads, signifying impending decay. Like drone bees who flock to mate with their queen only to die after the moment of fertilization, the insects fall at the feet of women. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor and White Zine)

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Jim Hodges’ Chromatically-Mirrored Boulder Sculptures

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American artist Jim Hodges has always had an innate ability to impress ideas of time into commonplace objects, whether using napkins for drawings, silk flowers pinned to walls or collections of broken mirrors. In his work, Untitled (2011), metaphors for nature are again followed by human involvement, allowing for reflection from the smallest material interactions.

Comprised of four boulders which are capped with stainless steel veneers in gold, pink, lavender and blue, Untitled finds each stone arranged into a circular environment that directly invokes the viewer’s sense of space. Light and reflection play a role in the viewing, as colors meld and give the stones a surprising airy and weightless quality. Untitled’s colors were inspired by Hodges’ travels to India, where Hodges was enamored by the intense use of color, as he describes, “this layering, layering, layering of material, to the point where what’s being covered, its identity, seemed to start being erased by the accumulation of color.

Scale is equally important to Untitled, and speaks to themes of change and impermanence. The works are quite massive, with each boulder measuring close to six feet in height and collectively weighing almost 90,000 pounds. Collected in Massachusetts, before being brought to a fabricators in Upstate New York, the boulders were chosen specifically because they were carved and moved centuries ago by the glaciers which covered the North American continent. While the weightless quality is provided by the translucent hues, and the permanence of the heavy rocks is insinuated, Hodges deftly reminds us that nothing is immovable or permanent.

First displayed indoors at the Gladstone Gallery in New York City, the work was then moved to the Walker Art Center’s outdoor grounds to coincide with the Sculpture Garden’s anniversary, as well as an upcoming retrospective exhibition. Hodges retrospective, Give More Than You Take, is currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art and extends through January  12th, 2014. The exhibition will then travel to join Untitled (2011) at the Walker Art Center. (via walker art center)

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Winkler + Noah Say “Not Even Death Can Stay Out Of The Show”

Each project carried out by Winkler + Noah has a meaningful focus with a motive to provoke serious thought. My favorite has to be the “Short Life” series. “We had been working for about a year and a half at the Shortlife project when we found a newspaper article with the following title: “DIES WHILE WAITING IN LINE FOR THE ART SHOW AND TOURISTS TAKE PICTURES”. An old man died while waiting to see the Raffaello’s exhibition in Florence and other tourists started to shoot at him with their cameras as if it were the most natural thing to do. This was the sad confirmation of what we were trying to represent in this photographic project: the end of respect for man means the end of everything: everything is legal, commercial and sellable. Nothing is private anymore, nothing can be stopped, everyone can do whatever he/she wants, without rules or morals, in a accelerating process that leaves nothing behind. Not even death can stay out of the show.”

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Distorted Ceramic Skateboards Influenced By Skateboarding Fails

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The title “Skate Fails” evokes a series of aborted tricks and falls, but in the hands of ceramist Xavier Mañosa and Alex Trochut for Mañosa’s brand Appartau, it’s the skateboard itself that fails. Made for the San Francisco based company FTC, these ceramic pieces are ingenious riffs on skateboarding’s perils, from the accordion of an abrupt stop to the shattered pieces of a too rough ride. Even in this deconstructed form, the boards are recognizable thanks in part to the inclusion of skate trucks. Mañosa said:

“The idea comes from the attempt to translate the skateboard to Dali’s liquid clocks. Alex and I started experimenting with different kinds of liquids, like honey or acrylic paint, observing how it dripped and flowed. We applied these exercises to the ceramic skateboard, melting it and seeing how it burned and wrinkled. The outcome was the collection of melted boards.” (Source)

It’s a clever idea executed beautifully, in clear, bright colors, glossy metallics, and nebulous form. The curiously lovely distorted and broken forms serve also as grim reminder of the skateboard riders’ reality, where a stray rock or crack can mean a hospitalization or worse.

“Ceramics are fragile and if they fall they break; something very important in my work,” Mañosa said. “I don’t create indestructible things.” (Source)

Not indestructible, but bright, interesting, and utterly cool.

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Joseph McVetty Conjures Up Drawings Full Of Skulls, Cults And Rituals

Joseph McVetty - latex paint, gouache and pencil on paperJoseph McVetty - latex paint, gouache and pencil on paperJoseph McVetty - latex paint, gouache and pencil on paper Joseph McVetty - latex paint, gouache and pencil on paper

Joseph McVetty must think it’s Halloween every day. His subtle pencil drawings are littered with groups of scantily clad people carrying out strange ceremonies and rituals. He sketches masked girls sitting on top of a circle of mushrooms, assisting a floating diamond deity. We see gatherings of people holding skulls above their heads in formation, trying to harness their collective power. There are also Shamans wearing skulls who seem to be about to begin some sort of exorcism or are absorbing energy from the people wearing skulls circling them. No matter the scenario, McVetty’s work is rooted in new-age spiritualism, occult ritual, and psychedelic culture.

Living in Portland, Oregon, McVetty’s work draws on his own experiences with rituals of being in the woods on the east coast. He talks of the powerful effect nature has on him:

I remember going to the Bagby Hot Springs with my wife soon after we relocated here and having a really magical experience. The very existence of these hot springs is a lovely idea to me, but being out in that old growth forest with all of the accompanying sights and smells was overwhelming. Then to come upon a group of strangers, naked, getting high, filling up those old log tubs and laying in that steaming water blew my mind. (Source)

He says even though his work is connected to these personal stories and memories, his drawings also are concerned with events from the wider world:

A perfect example is the recent wave of civil resistance movements central to the successes of the Arab Spring. These sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies are exactly the kind of energy gathering rituals that inspire me. (Source)

Hopefully you all are inspired to go and create your own energy gatherings this very night. Happy Halloween!

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Sascha Braunig’s Hypnotic Paintings

Portland, Maine based artist Sascha Braunig is a portrait painter of sorts.  She uses traditional baroque portraiture techniques with a nod to Op art and a wink at Surrealism.  Braunig’s figures seem to barely emerge out of a hypnotic (and nearly seizure inducing) patterned background.  Her canvases are striped with colors that contrast so much they nearly appear to glow.  The effect is hallucinatory and almost a bit haunting.  The gallery statement from her current exhibit describe the various concepts at play saying:

” Braunig’s geometric figures have a visual fluidity, as if their delicate skins can barely contain their bodies. Subject and background merge, creating ambiguity and optical tension. An alliance is forced between flat patterned designs and observed, mimetic representation.”

Sascha Braunig is exhibiting her work through December 22 at Manhattan’s Foxy Production.

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Swallows Built Entirely From Typewriter Parts

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These amazing sculptures of swallows are the work of artist Jeremy Mayer.  Like his other sculptures, the swallows are entirely composed of parts taken out of typewriters.  Mayer doesn’t even use glue or soldering to keep his swallows together.  He says of his art and process:

“I’m very interested in assembly, particularly in nature. I pay very close attention to the strong current in science and technology flowing inexorably toward an emulation of natural systems.”  [via]

 

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