The installation 24 HRS in Photos by Erik Kessels isn’t a typical photography installation. An entire room at San Francisco’s Pier 24 Photography is filled with photographs. One end of the room is piled to the ceiling with images cascading down to visitors’ feet. The photographs at first appear to be innocuous: family photos, vacation photos, smart phone photos. The immense number of photographs compiled by Kessels, though, are all of the images uploaded to the popular site Flickr in a single day. Kessels’ installation serves as a clue to astronomical number of images uploaded to the internet constantly. Even more striking is the way 24 HRS in Photos hints at the sheer saturation of images in day to day life. Kessels’ installation is part of A Sense of Place, a photography group exhibit on view at Pier 24 Photography through May 2014.
Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.
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.
Thierry Dreyfus doesn’t hang his art on the gallery wall, but instead splits it. His Rupture installations use the white box gallery space as a starting point. The pristine walls seem to have cracked and slightly seperate as if it were a tectonic fault line. Inside is the craggy masses of wall bathed by a warm golden glow or a cold silver light. The fissure encourages the imagination to speculate on what lies beyond the walls. It is interesting to notice how the color of the light colors the imagination in connection with the ruptures. While the golden crack nearly conveys a fairy-tale like curiosity, the silver rupture has a menacing sort of undertone.
The installations of Dominique Pétrin are visually overwhelming. Images, patterns, and designs seem to cover every as much available space as possible. Walls are plastered from floor to ceiling often even covering ground. Her expansive installations overlay the outsides and insides of buildings alike. Pétrin accomplishes her pieces by using large silk screened panels of paper. The imagery recalls an internet of the early 90′s – a time when the overabundance of information and imagery the web had to offer was only beginning to come clear.
The artwork of Jillian Salik offers up understated surprises. Her new exhibit DUEL TINT features frames, window dressing, and other wall fixtures adorned with baroque ornamentation. However, the typically gilded and gaudy colors that typically accompany such adornments, the reflections and windows that should fit in such frames were no where to be seen. Salik only offers the bare structure of the frames and ornamentation. Also, Salik makes an interesting choice of material: cardboard. She contrasts high-society trimmings and embellishments with a decidedly “low” material and digital production processes.
Katya Grokhovsky‘s series Untitled Heroic is deeply complex and familiarly conflicted. For the series Grokhovsky makes use any medium necessary – photography, performance, video, and even a cardboard cut-out installation. The artist seems to attract and repel. The series is at once confrontational, seductive, and wonderfully volatile. By way of her statement, Grokhovsky says that Untitled Heroic is, “A series of performances for photography and video, culminating in a large-scale cutboard cutout installation, whereby a female artist is dealing with frustrating desire to both attract and reject the notion of a male gaze.” Grokohovsky’s work is also the subject of an upcoming solo exhibit at New York’s Galerie Protégé.
Australian artist Ian Strange‘s ambitious project two year in the making is difficult to pin down. SUBURBAN isn’t quite installation, photography, performance, or video art – its really more than all of these. The project is really Ian Strange’s investigation of and interaction with the idea of suburbia. The sidewalk, front yard, middle class, ubiquitous rows of homes have grown with a generation of young people, and now with a second and third. The neighborhoods and houses themselves have become symbols of something beyond their function that Strange’s work seems to seek and find. Check out the video to get a preview of the upcoming exhibit.