Munich, Germany based Cory Stevens shoots architectural photography in a peculiar way. He abstracts the architecture by photographing a segment of a building and reflecting it in various ways. In some photos the reflection is duplicated, and in others its repeated many times as if in a kaleidoscope. All of the reflections merge seamlessly, though, as if it were one floating structure. The strange symmetry gives the buildings an almost organic quality as if it were about to divide and multiply on its own. In a way, they resemble viruses made of steel, cement, and glass.
Socialist-era monuments dot the countryside of the lands that once made up Yugoslavia, many of them World War II and concentration camp memorials. The majority of the the monuments were commissioned by then president Josip Broz Tito during the 1960′s and 70′s. Photographer Jan Kempenaers toured the countries that once made up Yugoslavia to document the monuments in this series of photographs. With the fall of socialism and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the monuments were largely abandoned. The monuments’ neglect is apparent and contrasts severely against their futuristic aesthetic.
The grouping of monuments have not only been abandoned by visitors but also their meaning and symbolism. They ask serious questions regarding the nature of monuments in the sculptural tradition. What is a memorial when it no longer memorializes anything?
At times strangely numb, and at other points echoing a modernist affection for the coldest of structures and surfaces, the most recent work by Philadelphia painter Erin Murray certainly doesn’t lack in focus. Murray’s fixation on the bland, eerily coded architecture of American cities reveals an underlying criticism (or slightly tongue-in-cheek reference) to the simultaneous banality and sinister intentionality that exists in the spaces around us. Rather than allowing these ever-present backdrops of contemporary life to fade quietly into the background, she brings them forward in the hopes that the viewer will find the same suspicious significance in each graphic, expertly rendered façade.
Where her graphite works are dark and slightly ominous, the lush, surrealistic landscapes Murray has sketched out are deliciously disorienting. As a group, they reflect a curious interest in space, place and structure—something that might eventually push Murray’s works off the page and into the 3D realm.
Artist Mark Reigelman‘s new site-specific installation is aptly titled Reading Nest. The structure was created just outside the Cleveland Public Library using thousands of reclaimed wood boards. Reading Nest acts as an alternative setting for learning and growth. In his statement Reigleman says of the installation’s symbolism:
“For centuries objects in nature have been associated with knowledge and wisdom. Trees of enlightenment and scholarly owls have been particularly prominent in this history of mythological objects of knowledge. The Reading Nest is a visual intermediary between forest and fowl. It symbolizes growth, community and knowledge while continuing to embody mythical roots.” [via]
If you were similarly a nerd-child, this home library would have been better than any I could conjure. Architect Moon Hoon designed this extremely family friendly house. The spaces throughout the house are very versatile with this library being its highlight. Embedded in the bookshelves is a wooden slide. Also, the shelves double as tiered seating for the home theater. Moon Hoon says of the feature:
“The multi-use stair and slide space brings much active energy to the house, not only children, but also grown ups love the slide staircase. An action filled playful house for all ages.” [via]
A good deal of contemporary art blends characteristics from disparate practices: sculpture and painting, painting and photography, video and installation. However, the work of Alex Schweder is a rare mix. Much of his work is equal parts architecture and performance art. Schweder investigates the way people interact with living spaces, and the way these spaces interact with their occupants. The result is often a playfully surprising structure. Some structures balance or rock depending on the movement of the inhabitants. Other structures are photosensitive, their inhabitants leaving stronger impressions the longer they linger. Regardless of the ‘performance’, his work encourages approaching ideas of the home and its occupants as almost a living relationship.
These images are from the design studio of the architecture and design firm Choi + Shine. The concept is to transform simple power line pylons into massive sculptures. The firm says, ”Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable.” The figures would be designed to interact with their function as well as the landscape. Some figures would appear to be climbing up hill. Others would crouch for increased strength as if to bear the weight of the wires on their shoulders. All would serve to enhance the landscape while also serving a utilitarian purpose.
Luminaria by Architects of Air is a touring inflatable structure. The ‘building’ has made stops internationally since 1992. Visitors to the Luminaria remove their shoes and enter an air lock. Once through the airlock visitors are free to roam the structure. The Luminaria is built of inflated PVC. Sunlight from outside shines through the various colors of PVC creating an otherworldly glow. The highly saturated colors coupled with the gently curving walls and floor give the Luminaria a subtle biological nature. Interestingly one visitor describes the structure as ” Somewhere between a womb and a cathedral.”