Archive: 2002
Can faith move a whole mountain?

Can faith move a whole mountain?

Francis Alÿs - When Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru 1
Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru

When Faith Moves Mountains or Cuando la fe mueve montañas was created by artist Francis Alÿs to explain the paradox of life; sometimes people make things that lead to nothing, while sometimes making nothing leads to remarkable things.

In this piece, Alÿs managed to persuade 500 participants made up primarily of locals situated in the outskirts of Lima to help move a hill located on the outer edge of town one shovel at a time. The 500 volunteers armed with shovels and all dressed in similar looking shirts formed a line at the bottom of a large 1600 foot (487m) sand dune. The volunteers moved sand from the dune and positioned it about 4 inches (10cm) from its original spot, therefore, creating a brand new mountain. The project was completed as part of the Third Ibero-American Biennial of Lima.

Like most of his previous works, Alÿs recorded the entire process on film, photographs and various other mediums of documentation. The project, which was undertaken in 2002, was neither earthwork nor a traditional sculpture. Additionally, no new elements were included or added to the landscape; the process of moving the hill was seen as a powerful allegory and a metaphor to represent the power of human will and community work.

One of the other objectives of this piece was to incite the multiple subjects included in the project to become storytellers with the aim of creating one communal event which would in future help to strengthen the Lima community and prove to them that faith can indeed move mountains. When the project was completed, the participants seemed grateful to be involved, which implies that the artist’s purpose was realized. The local Lima volunteers were proud of taking part in the project and they realized the project’s story worthiness.

The project documented in photographs and videos was extraordinarily impressive; however, it only served the purpose of a social parable. The action of moving the sand dune was transitory and no one could recognize that the sand had been moved from its original position the next day. The aftermath and the success of the project lay in its capacity to effectively induce conversations which allowed audiences to generate an image out of the project. The project supplied audiences with true insight and the ease of its delivery was the artist’s greatest strength.

Video

https://vimeo.com/14129166
Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains, 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, 15.01min, Lima, Peru

Video stills


Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru

Francis Alys - When Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru
Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru

Francis Alys - When Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru
Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru

Francis Alys - When Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru
Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru


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Artist dissects car and re-composes it piece by piece to create a celebrated artwork

Artist dissects car and re-composes it piece by piece to create a celebrated artwork

Damián Ortega – Cosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Malmö Konsthall
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Malmö Konsthall

Damián Ortega was born in Mexico City in 1967. He now divides his time between Mexico City and Berlin. He has gained a world-renowned reputation as his works have been exhibited internationally. His career in art began as a political cartoonist, work that has influenced his more recent work, as is evidence in the playful energy often found in his works. Ortega is a multitalented artist who is known for his installations, sculptures, videos and performance pieces. He takes inspiration from a variety of seemingly mundane objects, and is known for his ability to transform the mundane into something that is anything but. Ortega’s work investigates the ways in which culture affects consumption, focusing on explicit economic, aesthetic and cultural situations.

Ortega’s work includes photography, sculpting, collage creation, and film; all which serve to draw audience attention to the sociopolitical and very poetic dimensions of the everyday. It is evident that through his use of satire, Ortega is successful at pointing out the issues and other themes related to capitalism, poverty, globalization, westernization, and immigration.

“Cosmic Thing” (2002), is without a doubt one of his Ortega’s most celebrated works, in which he took apart a Volkswagen Beetle and re-composed it piece by piece, where it was suspended in midair from wires. It could be described as a hanging diagram where you can see each part of the vehicle, dissected for all to see.

The vehicle hangs from the ceiling in an satirical meditation on an evident symbol of mass production and of course, westernization. The Volkswagen Beetle is without a doubt the most perfect symbol of both. The Volkswagen Beetle was originally developed in 1930s in Nazi Germany and became known as both being efficient and the affordable. Following the Second World War the Beetle had great manufacturing success, there were increasing safety regulations in Europe and the United States, and by the 1970s the Beetle was exclusively manufactured in Mexico and Brazil. This soon became the most use car in Mexico City as it was mechanically straightforward and cheap spare parts where always available allowing Do-It-Yourself repairs. This vehicle was not only accessible but functional and commonly seen on the streets around the world.

However, in Ortega’s piece, as the Beetle suspends in the air, disassembled, it is somewhat shocking. This suspended car, looking like a puzzle that needs to be solved, seems so different than the Beetles commonly seen being driven on the streets; So much more empty and cold, yet undeniably mesmerizing.

Ortega’s “Cosmic Thing” causes viewers to think about how several small pieces come together to create one whole thing. This is the case for mundane objects, images, and structures we see every day. Every structure we have ever seen and many of the objects we own is made of several small pieces pulled together to create a complete product for consumption. This once again draws into the ideas surrounding the ways in which culture affects consumption.

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Thing, 2002
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy
Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Thing, 2002
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy
Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Thing, 2002
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy
Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan


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Spectacular re-enactment of a legendary fight of miners & policemen

Spectacular re-enactment of a legendary fight of miners & policemen

Jeremy Deller - Battle of Orgreave
Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2002

Video

In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute lasted for over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike of 1926, marking a turning point in the struggle between the government and the trade union movement.

On 18 June of that year, the Orgreave coking plant was the site of one of the strike’s most violent confrontations. It began in a field near the plant and culminated in a cavalry charge through the village of Orgreave.

Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, staged seventeen years later, was a spectacular re-enactment of what happened on that day. It was orchestrated by Howard Giles, a historical re-enactment expert and the former director of English Heritage’s event programme. More than 800 people participated in the re-enactment, many of them former miners, and a few former policemen, reliving the events from 1984 that they themselves took part in. Other participants were drawn from battle re-enactment societies across England.

The Battle of Orgreave aired on Sunday, 20 October 2002. The film intercuts dramatic photographic stills from the clashes in 1984 with footage of the clashes re-enacted in 2001, together with moving and powerful testimonies, to tease out the complexities of this bitter struggle.

Mac McLoughlin, a former miner and serving policeman on the field that day, reveals details about the build-up within the police force prior to the stand-off; David Douglass (NUM) talks about the meaning of the confrontation in relation to the trade union movement in England; Stephanie Gregory (Womens’ Support Group) reminisces about the effects on family life; Tony Benn talks about the media’s role in covering up the truth about the strike in 1984; and Jeremy Deller contextualises this event and highlights its contemporary cultural relevance.

Jeremy Deller - Battle of Orgreave
Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2002

Jeremy Deller - Battle of Orgreave
Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2002

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More Chinese girls staring into the future

More Chinese girls staring into the future

Weng Fen – Bird’s Eye View – Heikou, 2002
Weng FenBird’s Eye View – Heikou, 2002

Weng Fen - Bird’s Eye View New Beijing 9 Photography, 160×200 cm 2007
Weng FenBird’s Eye View New Beijing 9, 2007

Weng Fen – Bird’s Eye View - Beijing 1
Weng FenBird’s Eye View – Beijing 1, 2004

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Chinese girls are observing transformation of their city

Chinese girls are observing transformation of their city

Weng Fen - Sitting on the Wall - Guangzhou 3, 2002-2003
Weng FenSitting on the Wall – Guangzhou 3, 2002-2003

The transitional phases and changes in China since its opening up in the 1980’s, both physically and emotionally, have been the source of inspiration for Weng Fen (b. 1961) and his work. In his earlier series Sitting on the Wall and Bird’s Eye View, Weng’s epic images focus on the upraising of urbanism in cities such as Haikou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. His subjects start out as outsiders looking into this overwhelming transformation with anticipation, fear and curiosity to being in the centre of it all. Weng then follows and evolves inwardly, shifting his attention from physical changes to emotional and spiritual transformations, from urban cities to rural countries, exploring the possibility of finding an otherworldly utopia, a place that may have existed all along in our hearts and minds, in our memories and those innocent times, which results in the acclaimed Staring at The Sea series.

About Weng Fen

Weng Fen has been exhibited worldwide in Asia, Europe and America, including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Shanghai Art Museum, the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mori Museum in Tokyo, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany, the International Centre of Photography in New York and the Singapore Art Museum

Weng Fen - Sitting on the Wall - Guangzhou, 2002-2003
Weng FenSitting on the Wall – Guangzhou, 2002-2003

Weng Fen – Sitting on the Wall – Shenzhen 1, 2002-2003
Weng FenSitting on the Wall – Shenzhen 1, 2002-2003

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Artist magically solves all parking & traffic problems

Artist magically solves all parking & traffic problems

The short films by Park June Bum (b. 1976) are already quite old (~2002) but still nice. His work intelligently covers several relevant topics, like the rapid change of not just the Korean society. Park has exhibited widely throughout the world.

(Via Wowsan)


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