The installations of Argentine artist Leandro Erlich are known to be visually playful. His most recent installation definitely follows suit. For Dalston House, Erlich constructed a facade of a three story home which lies horizontally on the ground. A giant and cleverly angled mirror gives the facade, and those on it, the appearance of being vertical. Visitors hang from roofs, sit casually perched on ledges, and effortlessly walk down the wall. Also check out Erlich previously here.
It would probably be prudent to begin by letting you know this whale is not real. Rather, the whale is a highly-detailed site-specific installation and the “scientists are actors organized and created by a Belgian collective known as Captain Boomer. The installation was on the banks of the river Thames and in conjunction with Greenwich + Docklands International Festival – an outdoor festival. The installation (which pops up on various river banks throughout Europe) stir up and disrupt entire communities just as real beached whales do. The collective sets out to educate communities on whale the beaching of whales and the larger issues tying humans to nature. Regarding viewers’ unique reaction to their installation, Captain Boomer describes:
“During our beachings, we see an intensive interaction among the crowd. People address each other, speculate and wonder. They offer help and ask for information. The different layers of perception create funny games. Some audience members know it is a work of art but feed the illusion to other people.”
Artist Tomás Saraceno just opened his newest installation on June 21 at K21 Staendehaus (see his work previously here). He is known for creating sprawling interactive installations. However, In Orbit is his largest and most complex piece to date. Saraceno’s newest work is situated 65 feet over a piazza. It consists of multi-tiered netting which visitors can wander through. The installation is scattered with clear and metallic orbs, some nearly 30 feet in diameter, resembling planets floating in space. [via]
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]
This is a huge disco ball. The hugest, actually. Michel De Broin‘s newest site specific installation One Thousand Speculations was created for Toronoto’s Luminato Festival. The piece consists of disco ball over 25 feet in diameter hoisted 80 feet into the air, spun and spotlit each night of the festival. The ‘thousand’ of the piece’s title likely refers to the ball’s mirrors – a thousand of which reflect on David Pecaut Square below. Each of the individual mirrors reflect a large swath of light that travels over the yards and buildings each evening. The surrounds, perhaps unavoidably, seem to feel just a little more lighthearted.
The work of Yinka Shonibare, MBE is filled with the complexity and ambiguity that make art endlessly exciting. Born in London, Shonibare moved to Nigeria when he was three years old and later returned to London to attend college. In a way, his work reflects this personal dynamic between Europe and Africa. However, Shonibare’s work makes it clear that his scope is much larger than that. He skillfully blends traditional textiles, costume, and symbolism from various European and African cultures and times. Through his distinctive work, Shonibare has a way of exploring issues of colonialism in an increasingly shrinking world without taking away any of its complexity. Thus, his work doesn’t inspire political reactionism, but rather sincere thought and deep consideration.
Often it seems the most useful objects are the most overlooked. Much of the work of artist and designer Joost Goudriaan is set upon changing our relationship with such items. A park bench, an object whose aesthetic is nearly entirely defined by its use, is transformed with traditional craftsmanship. Goudrian uses leather and walnut wood to turn a typically stark bench into luxuriant public seating. Also pictured, is a replica of the classic Nike Air Max made from chocolate. While the original may be prized and collected, Goudriaan compelled anyone who bought his chocolate replica to sign a contract stipulating that they would eat the shoe.
The art of Turkish born artist Mehmet Ali Uysal is at once playful and contemplative. His work often makes use of common objects or images as its starting line. Uysal then alters its purpose or use in subtle but profound and often humorous ways. Not only Uysal’s objects, but the surrounding space can feel transformed in a way. Whether it’s a giant clothespin pinching the earth or slabs of dry wall peeled off the gallery walls, his work seems to reveal the playful potential in mundane places and things. Visitors are encouraged to revisit spaces that would otherwise be passed over forgotten.