Kristian Burford’s art installations meditate on the postmortem state of sexual arousal without a partner present. Nestled in a messy realistic setting, each carefully constructed wax figure seems to sigh inward, recollecting him or herself after an erotic whim has been satiated. However, the intention does not stop there: it seethes and penetrates with primal implications. Encountering each diorama, our own interior worlds are challenged and heightened as we find ourselves cast to confront not so much nudity, but even more so, our own erotic inclinations as possible voyeurs.
Artist Ivan Navarro is known for his work with neon and fluorescent lighting. Using the lights in with a one-way mirror and a regular mirror Navarro’s sculpture to extend endlessly. They appear to extend on into infinite darkness, adding a weighty metaphorical layer to his artwork. His work conveys a certain uneasiness with each pieces ambiguous text, which exacerbated by the visual abyss. “There is a certain amount of fear in my pieces”, he has appropriately said. “I make spaces in a fictional way to deal with my own psychological anxiety.”
Artist Motoi Yamamoto is known for his sprawling installations entirely composed of carefully poured salt. His newest installation Charlotte, North Carolina’s Mint Museum is titled Floating Garden. Existing for slightly under a month, the community was invited to ‘dismantle’ the installation. A huge swirling pattern, one familiar from nature, covers the floor. Upon closer inspection, the hurricane-like shape is a tight network of neat lines of salt. Salt is replete with symbolism in Western culture but has special meaning in Japanese culture. The museum explains:
“Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.” [via]
Dutch artists Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle make up the duo known as Front 404. While their work varies in medium it is consistent in being humorously subversive. For example, their project Plantmines is a sort of landmine that is constructive rather than destructive. Unaware passersby step on and discharge the plant mine sending colored powder and confetti into the air. More importantly, though, the confetti contains flower seeds that are intended to eventually grow at the site of the “blast”. The duo says of the project:
“You’ve stepped on a Plantmine, and the explosion of flower confetti serves as an instant party to celebrate that you live in a country where you don’t have to worry about stepping on a real landmine. The flower confetti contains flower seeds, to create a permanent happy and colourful spot in the place of the plantmine explosion.”
Check out the video to see a Plantmine or two blow up.
Brooklyn based artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have been collaborating since 2005. Together they create expansive installations that fill gallery spaces. The installations’ size forces visitors to interact with it. Made from natural materials such as wood and paper, their work carries an organic atmosphere. The installations often resemble trees or entire forests, mangled, twisting and growing. The paper seems to be giving a nod to its origin as an almost ironic choice of material.
These installations of Jason Peters began with garbage. While driving he spotted many of these buckets – the five gallon type often found in hardware stores. Soon Peters had collected hundreds of them. His installations utilize these buckets to form huge winding installations. The stacked buckets snake through large gallery spaces lit from within. In his statement, he says of his work:
“By using large multiples of discarded items in repeating designs that establish unexpected patterns, societal cast offs are made beautiful through the alliteration of form. Once removed from their traditional context, the objects’ interaction with the environment becomes unpredictable and unstable”
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.”