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.”
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]