The artwork created by the Japanese art collective known as Three creates work with a political subtext as powerful as it is subtle. Three often uses common food objects such as fish shaped soy sauce packets or candy. For example, the installation Eat Me uses 7,000 wrapped candy pieces hung from the gallery ceiling in the shape of a house. Visitors are encouraged to pluck candy from the installation and toss the wrapper in a corner set aside in the gallery. Slowly throughout the day the ‘house’ of candy is transformed into a pile of trash – a symbolic recreation of the overwhelming destruction of homes by Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A Million Times by the Stockholm based studio Humans Since 1982 beautifully mixes the analog and the digital. The piece begins with the simple analog clock as its starting point. 288 clocks are arranged on the wall, their hands spinning to run through hypnotic patterns and display the time digitally. Each of the 288 clocks’ two hands run independently, powered by 576 individual motors. The entire installation is connected to custom made software and operated from an iPad. Watch the dials spin in the video after the jump.
The work of Chinese artist Wang Zhiyuan turns our attention to the overlooked and discarded. Whether he is using garbage to make art or making art look like garbage Zhiyuan’s art attempts to draw out a double take, a second slower look. Zhiyuan has also created giant pairs of underwear – some of huge swaths of fabric others carefully carved. Some seem like large and ancient bronze panties adorned with a relief addressing the AIDS pandemic. He’s also made use of refuse to create a dizzyingly high tower stretching to be nearly four stories tall. He says of the project:
“I thought it would be difficult to make these dead objects interesting or beautiful. But I discovered that if you bring order to them, you can create beauty.”[via]
Sound artist Zimoun creates simple but arresting sound art installations. His stark installations use common objects to noise atmospheres. Zimoun often uses small DC motors with small cotton ball mallets in his work. His newest piece using the motors may be his largest yet. Utilizing over 300 motors, Zimoun neatly installed his piece inside an abandoned chemical tank. The drone of the cotton balls and the echo within the tank produces a hypnotic hum. Check out the video of Zimoun’s installation in action after the jump. [via]
The work of artist Adel Abdessemed is at once direct and poetic. He often uses common imagery and objects as a point of departure. However, the mundane beginnings of these objects only further underscore the weighty nature of his art. Abdessemed’s installations are able to provoke a sudden impact of its viewer. Still, the installations communicate complex ideas that unfold over extended viewing. At times controversial, his work is effective in piquing thought and discussion.
Artist and designer Fabrice Le Nezet‘s series Measure precariously positions concrete blocks. Using metal tubing, Le Nezet supports the concrete in way that makes the industrial materials seem nearly organic. The brightly colored pipes cling to the concrete like webs. His intention with the work was to make the materials and its weight easily felt. He says:
“I worked here on a physical representation of the idea of measure. The objective was to ‘materialize’ tension in a sense, to make the notions of weight, distance and angle palpable…This work lies in the context of my search for purification around raw materials such as concrete and metal. This is why I played with simple shapes which catch light and transcend the volume structure.”
Anya Gallaccio‘s installation Red on Green may leave elicit a different reaction depending on when you catch the show. Gallaccio plucked the heads of 10,000 roses and arranged them into large neat rectangle. At first the installation may resemble a grand romantic gesture. However, Gallaccio’s interest is piqued by what the installation becomes. In a way Red on Green turns into a type of natural performance as the field of red shifts to brown. She utilizes the loaded symbol of the rose as a starting point for investigating the natural processes of death and decay.
The audiovisual installation titled Isotope v.2 was created Nonotak – an art duo made up of Noemi Schipfer and Takami Nakamoto. Light projections are projected on and through a box approximately thirteen feet on each side. Accompanied by sound the projection begins rather subdued. Low drones match lights moving and changing slowly. Soon, however, the light and sound seems to quicken its pace, become glitchy, even aggressive. Watch the video after the jump to see the Isotope v.2 in action. The installation is a reference and response to Fukushima and its now infamous power plant. Following the tragic 2011 earthquake control over the Fukushima power plant quickly deteriorated. Using this as a metaphor for the human relationship with nuclear energy, the installation creates a type of immaterial prison. Walls of light surround the visitors becoming ever more imposing as the projection progresses.