Croatian-Austrian design studio Numen/For Use has built a large string supported jungle gym that is described as a “prototype of a self supporting inhabitable social sculpture.” Known for their large-scale tape and netting installations, “String Prototype” represents the studio’s first “large geometric inflatable object” installation. Thin ropes are tied on opposite sides of the form’s volume, keeping them parallel. When the object is inflated, the ropes are pulled and tightened into a structure that can support multiple human bodies. “Bodies entrapped in 3D grid, flying in unnatural positions throughout superficial white space, resemble Dadaist collages. Impossibility of perception of scale and direction results in simultaneous feeling of immenseness and absence of space.” (via my modern met)
The project is currently installed in the Viennese countryside, where it is still in development.
Megan Mosholder creates work from the simplest materials, and then illuminates the installations to give the work a unique visual depth and a lasting sensory experience. Mosholder explains, “My practice is centered around site-responsive, sculptural installations that emphasize obscured elements within recognizable objects. Through the utilization of materials such as light, twine, eyelets and wood, I articulate space and present a multi-sensory experience.”
In her work, Support and Seizure (above), the Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based artist immersed herself in the history of the buildings during her Wassaic Artist Residency. By installing to a former livestock auction space, Mosholder visually connects the past of the local’s agrarian history to the current artist residents. The artist says, “I was interested in the revival of the Wassaic, once a forgotten hamlet plagued with home foreclosures. Many of the community members told me how happy they were that the residency was in existence because it brought new life and interest to the area.”
In her previous work Gossamer (below), nylon cord is hand-painted with light-reactive, glow in the dark paint and blacklit to create a radiant blue field of three-dimensional lines. Installed underneath a Hilton Head Island, South Carolina barn, the work was the artist’s largest to date. Built of 15,000 feet of nylon cord, 2000 screw eyes, and taking over 150 hours to construct, Mosholder responds to the utilitarian construct and architectural forms of the site. Explaining that there is more to each piece than just the visual stimulation, viewers should also understand the creative reaction to the implied histories of the building. “These “three-dimensional drawings” bind the social and literal landscape and reawaken for a moment the simple intrigue of looking. They are a visual dialogue about movement, time and dimension and encourage the viewer to appreciate spaces for what they are but also examine their hidden meanings.” (via designboom)
Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, who is based in Berlin, creates sculptural installations. Often surrounding miscellaneous items like clothing or furniture in tangled nets of twine, she places strict limits upon perception within her work. The stringy elements of her installations almost exist as clouds obstructing the objects that make up each piece. In this way, a work is viewed simultaneously as a singular object and as a product of its environment. Here, airy materials compound into an extremely weighted whole, repositioning our impressions of worldly material. (via)
Until recently I was unfamiliar with the artist Alex Ebstein, but I am glad to have rectified my lack of awareness. There is an honesty to Ebstein’s work that I find readily engaging. The use of yarn or string in an artist’s practice can often shift the aesthetic towards a decidedly crafty end result, but Ebstein manages to use the material with such purpose that it might as well be a drawn line in an architectural blue print. The effectiveness of the work hinges on her ability to merge direct compositional tactics with a more playful approach to the selected materials. Ebstein’s use of string also elevates the intentionality of her mark marking, and then quickly reasserts itself as a method of creating illusory depth in what would otherwise be relatively flat pieces. Taught angular moments combined with purposefully relaxed textures start a visual conversation that I am more than happy to participate in.
I could have just included the ‘eye chart’ pieces because I found them extremely aesthetically pleasing, but the back-story provides a bit of insight that I think most would enjoy. Think of it as a ‘Director’s Commentary’ for the work. Courtesy of Miss Ebstein, “…then for the eye chart pieces. They are more of a weird reflection on (and obsession with) eyesight and my existing eye problems that force me to visit the doctor every month. I’ve had four eye surgeries in three years… I am always nervously checking my vision against things, one eye at a time, so these drawings were kind of my own dark humored joke about being an artist and constantly worrying about my vision.” I am of the belief that ‘going blind’ is one of (if not) the most terrifying things any artist could imagine, and I appreciate the candor with which she addresses what could be an immobilizing reality to those with a more pessimistic outlook on life. Ebstein will be starting grad school this fall, and I am eager to see how this focused environment will affect her work. I also encourage anyone interested in contemporary art to check out the consistently interesting programming at Nudashank – a gallery she co-runs with Seth Adelsberger in the Baltimore area.
Shaun Kardinal transforms found and scavenged postcards into geometric altered spaces that are hypnotic. His site is full of places, people and things that he’s created on found images and redistributed into the world.
Interdisciplinary artist Pamela Saturday has a body of work that toys with layering both in painting and installation. Her game of hide and reveal creates a fantastic energy. From her statement she says “any truth is partial, and that the actual includes potential” which I think perfectly describes her work.